Americans' views of the pharmaceutical industry.

Back in September 2019, the pharmaceutical industry was the most poorly regarded industry in Americans' eyes, ranking last on a list of 25 industries that Gallup tests annually. Today, a year later and in the midst of a race for a COVID-19 vaccine, the industry's image has improved modestly and it has yielded the 'worst rated' distinction back to the U.S. federal government.

Drugmakers are now the second-lowest-rated. The drug industry had unseated the federal government as the lowest-rated industry in 2019; the American government has been last or tied for last from 2011 through 2018.

This new 'low' in the drug industry's U.S. image comes amid a range of criticisms of industry norms from the cost of insulin to generating the highest drug costs in the world, spending massive amounts in lobbying politicians, and with the industry's role in the U.S. opioid crisis.

The industry's rating likely will not recover until its role in the opioid epidemic is held accountable, and the political pressure on the industry for high prices and massive profits subsides.