Like developing a tactical plan without a strategy is not advisable, before we get to specific actions, it is critical to understand the basis for reestablishing trust. First, completely restoring trust may not always be possible but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Without reestablishing trust, the pharmaceutical industry will find the evolving healthcare market even more challenging as it disregards the industry as a credible source of product information. This will make new product introductions and market adoption more difficult, slower, and more expensive. To reestablish trust one must:
- Acknowledge the wrong doing and take responsibility for the distrustful actions
- Commit to never do it again and to never betray the trust again
- Establish practices that ensure trust is never breached again. Trust can not be broken just because the circumstances at the time will benefit you.
- Demonstrate commitment to the relationship with supportive goodwill gestures
- Have consistent positive behavior (no breaches) over time
The industry has plenty to do and decades of distrusting behavior to mend. No single act of goodwill or launch of a miraculous drug will put the industry back in good graces. There is no amount of advertising, eloquent speeches, or contributions to charitable organizations that can replace consistent good behavior. Making this increasingly difficult is the fact that any breach, by any company, can quickly negate the progress the industry might have made to that point. So what specifically can the industry do and more importantly, what can pharmaceutical companies and individuals at companies do to reestablish market trust? Stay tuned.