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30 July 2014

Social License to operate or the importance of financial results in the Pharmaceutical Industry

The multinational pharmaceutical industry is facing one of the most severe reputational crises of the past thirty years. Measures implemented by several governments, such as reduced privileges on intellectual property, control over drug prices or promoting the generic industry show that research and development laboratories have lost the support of citizenship, the approval of authorities and the social license to operate.

The strong focus on the financial performance and the proportionally low concern for patients and the sustainability of healthcare systems could be one of the main causes for the current crisis.

The task of enhancing the reputation of such a highly regulated sector is complex. But three steps could mark a sound start to correct past mistakes and restore the loss of trust: increasing the number of collaborative actions and communications between partners of the sector and between the sector and the main stakeholders; developing a new storytelling focused on people and taking into account the financial limitations of health systems and recognizing past mistakes in order to ask for social forgiveness.

Alejandro Romero, CEO of LLORENTE & CUENCA in Latin America

Carlos Dáguer, Senior Director of LLORENTE & CUENCA in Colombia

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