This item on Ethical Corporation is interesting, if not surprising: When comparing surveys on pharma executive ethics, 65 percent of the senior execs surveyed believed they and their colleagues "adhere to ethical business practices"--and this survey was taken after the whole Vioxx blowup. But just 44 percent of the general public (this is all U.S.-based data) believed big pharma engages in ethical business practices.
Another public opinion survey was carried out in February by the Kaiser Family Foundation. It found that although 90% of adults said pharmaceutical companies made an important contribution by developing new drugs, half had an overall unfavourable view of the industry.
And 70% of participants in the Kaiser survey said the pharmaceutical industry put profits ahead of people.
I sense a serious need for some public relations triage. At least the public still perceives pharma products to be relatively safe to take.