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The Big Pharma & The Elephant Man: A Qualitative study on the TeGenero Crisis Communication
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media, Media and Communication Studies.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media, Media and Communication Studies.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The pharmaceutical industry is prone to crises, yet the communication strategy of these saidcrises has not been sufficiently explored. The perception of pharmaceutical crises is stronglydependent on how the cases are portrayed both by the pharmaceutical companies and the medicaljournals. Thus, the communication process of the crisis and the framing of the cases are of greatimportance. The main purpose of the thesis is to investigate how a pharmaceutical companyfacing a crisis communicates with the public, and secondly how medical journals frame a crisis.A specific case attracted a considerable amount of criticism by the pharmaceutical industry andthe medical journals. TGN1412 was a developing drug by TeGenero that never managed to passthe clinical trials. Moreover, the drug's effect on several participants has been characterized evenas ‘nearly fatal’. Situational Crisis Communication Theory and Image Restoration Theory equipthe thesis with an adequate theoretical framework to examine the crisis communication ofTeGenero through the company’s press releases. Additionally, a Framing analysis is applied on anumber of medical journal articles in order to fully understand the narrative of the medicalcommunity regarding the case. The thesis objective is to explore the TeGenero case andsubsequently the crisis communication in the pharmaceutical industry. As a result of the study,TeGenero’s main crisis communication strategy was towards Corrective Action, supported byBolstering and Defeasibility. From the medical journals framing analysis it is demonstrated that agreat amount of journals focused on the causes of the crisis event but also the moral standardsregarding the TeGenero case. The results of this study suggest that crisis framing and perceptionshould be considered as a more important element for crisis communication in thepharmaceutical industry. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 79 p.
Keyword [en]
crisis, communication, pharmaceutical, industry, TeGenero
Keyword [sv]
kris, kommunikation, farmaceutisk, industri, TeGenero
National Category
Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-278582OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-278582DiVA: diva2:906673
Subject / course
Media and Communication Studies
Educational program
Bachelor Programme in Social Sciences
Available from: 2016-02-25 Created: 2016-02-24 Last updated: 2016-02-25Bibliographically approved

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