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EMAC 2022 Annual

Driving the Reach of Research in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Published: May 24, 2022


Philip Pollmann-Schweckhorst, University of Cologne; Marc Fischer, University of Cologne; Alexander Edeling, KU Leuven


The reputation regarding a drug’s safety and efficacy is the lifeblood of pharmaceutical companies. To advance innovation processes and prove drug quality, companies invest heavily in clinical trials and research activities. Resulting scientific publications have the potential to affect demand by spreading product quality information. However, only medical research that gets attention in the news or on social media can effectively serve as a communication vehicle. The authors develop a model that explains how decisions during and after the research process influence the media coverage of research. The empirical analysis shows that firms can increase the reach of their medical research by collaborating with top universities. Further, short titles as well as larger author teams and author teams with diverse national backgrounds increase media coverage. In terms of gender diversity, the results show that neither a female first author nor a high share of women affect the media coverage.