The pharmaceutical industry has hit a new low in the eyes of the American public: It is now the most poorly regarded industry in the country, according to a new Gallup survey. Americans are more than twice as likely to rate the industry negatively than positively — 58% to 27%. That 31-point gap is wider than the 27-point shortfall for the federal government, which had been last or tied for last from 2011 through 2018. Americans also have a poor opinion of the health care sector overall, with 48% rating it negatively compared to 38% viewing it positively. (The restaurant and computer industries garner the highest ratings.)
Gallup says its net ratings for drugmakers have never been lower since it began polling on industries in 2001. “Over the past 19 years, few industries have been rated lower than the pharmaceutical industry's current -31 net rating. These include the federal government and the oil and gas, real estate, and automobile industries.”
And though Gallup says that industries like oil and gas and real estate have managed to improve their images over time, it may be awhile before perceptions of the pharmaceutical industry change. “The industry's rating likely will not recover until its role in the opioid epidemic is addressed, and the political pressure on the industry for high prices and massive profits subsides,” Gallup’s Justin McCarthy writes.