Journalists Unhappy with Drugmaker Communications

22.06.2017 -

In unusually open criticism of a sector journalists report on widely, the digital communications platform ISEBOX has accused the international pharmaceutical industry of failing to meet the needs of the media. Citing internal research, the platform said it has identified a “huge gulf “between the information provided by drug companies and what journalists actually need to create their content.

Some 85% of the 166 US- and UK-based health journalists surveyed, ISEBOX noted, view healthcare communications as either "out of shape" or "on life support." Half, it said, “admit they never visit the newsrooms of drug companies;” almost a quarter term the web portals "unsatisfactory" and two-thirds  say there is "room for improvement" when it comes to the information provided.

Worse than that, the digital platform said, only 2% of journalists surveyed found pharmaceutical and healthcare companies "trustworthy," with 16% saying they don’t trust any information the drugmakers publish and about half  saying they only trust it “somewhat,” even if they believe the communication restrictions set down by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to be in the best interests of the consumer.

"Regulations are welcome and necessary. However, care must be taken that these regulations — or the fear of breaching them — do not prevent pharmaceutical companies from effectively communicating accurate, creative content,” health journalist and media communications consultant Jo Willey told ISEBOX.

"Journalists still need newsworthy, simple, clear content relevant to their outlet, whether that is traditional print media, web, radio, TV or social media. Over-complication or irrelevant content opens up the possibility of miscommunication, something which could be far more damaging," she said.