Americans’ Trust in Big Pharma

With Big Pharma unleashing its unprecedented coronavirus vaccines on humanity, a Gallup poll from 2019 is particularly pertinent.

On an annual basis, Gallup polls Americans on their trust in key sectors of the economy with the following question:

"For each of the following business sectors in the United States, please say whether your overall view of it is very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative or very negative."

The most recent poll of this type was conducted between August 1 and August 14, 2019 using a random sample of 1,522 adults aged 18 or older living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  The margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.  The answers were then sorted using net positive responses (i.e. total percentage of positive responses minus total percentage of negative responses).

Here is a table showing the highest net positive responses at the top and the lowest net positive responses at the bottom:

As you can see, the pharmaceutical industry (Big Pharma) ranked the lowest among all 25 sectors of the economy, even coming in lower than the federal government.

Here is a table showing how public approval of the pharmaceutical industry varied by gender, race, age, educational attainment, political affiliation and ideology:

Using weighted in data, the pharmaceutical industry fared the worst among females (marginally), whites, those aged 55 and above, high school graduates or less, political independents and those with a moderate ideology.

Gallup notes that the net trust ratings for the pharmaceutical industry have not been lower since the organization first polled on trust in industries in 2001.  Not only that, but fee industries have been rated lower than Big Pharma's current -31 net rating; these include the federal government, automobile industry, oil and gas industry and real estate industry.  Here is a graphic showing how Americans' net positive view of the pharmaceutical industry has plummeted over the past two decades:

With Big Pharma and governments injecting us with a series of what can only be termed experimental pharmaceuticals designed to defeat the SARS-CoV-2 virus, Americans are very clear about their lack of trust in these companies.  I would suggest that the only way that the United States (and other nations for that matter) will be able to ensure a significant uptake of COVID-19 vaccines is to make them mandatory under law, an approach that will surely make the upper floor, corner office dwellers in the pharmaceutical industry very, very happy as they watch the value of their stock options and performance shares soar.

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