Reputation – General Public: Relationship with the NHS

Read more about how the general public view the relationship between the pharmaceutical sector and the NHS

The increased positivity towards the sector also extends to its relationship with the NHS.

Nearly seven in ten believe that pharmaceutical companies operating in the UK have supported the NHS during the pandemic (vs just over half in the early days of the pandemic), and three in five agree that the sector supports the NHS with treating patients (versus just over two in five in July 2020). However, qualitative analysis suggest that, while the development of COVID-19 vaccine is top of mind, most people are unaware of other ways the sector has supported the NHS throughout the pandemic.

I’ve seen good collaboration with the NHS, and they have committed to providing a limited number of vaccines at cost (although they have still profited from the pandemic). General Public Respondent

Please indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with the following statements (March 2021):

Pharmaceutical companies operating in the UK…

A lack of understanding about medicine pricing means that opinions tend to be based on assumptions

Three quarters of people agree that the sector should have a close relationship with the NHS in order to develop medicines. However, people need, the public admit that they have little knowledge about pricing and the sector’s interactions with the NHS. Instead their opinions are based on personal experiences and stories from peers.

It is assumed that the NHS pays too much for medicines, which contributes to some negativity towards the sector. Just over half of the public agree that the NHS pays too much for medicines. When asked about their expectations, the public understand that the sector needs to make some profit, but insist that prices for the NHS should be fair.

Last modified: 20 September 2023

Last reviewed: 20 September 2023