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Why Honesty Is the Best Policy

Lack of Confidence in Drug Industry
 
To regain public trust, the FDA and pharmaceutical companies need an image overhaul. The current perception is that the positive benefits of medications are being exuberantly promoted, but that drug companies will not release information they have about adverse reactions as soon as they have such information. Consumers sense an imbalance in reporting and earnestly desire the ring of truth.
 
In a Harris Poll conducted for the Pharmaceutical Safety Institute, people identified the FDA and pharmaceutical companies as the entities that should bear the most responsibility for drug safety. However, when asked about their level of trust in them, both scored low.
 
Doctors, on the other hand, received high trust ratings in the poll. Fifty-eight percent of people trust doctors who prescribe drugs.
 
Because of recent reports of adverse reactions related to some frequently used prescription drugs, only 27 percent of people said that they "somewhat or very strongly trust" pharmaceutical companies. Only 43 percent of people were fairly or very confident that drug companies would release any information about bad reactions to their drugs.
 
When it comes to responsibility for prescription drug safety, only 22 percent of people believe that Congress has a great deal of responsibility. Thirty percent believe doctors have a lot of responsibility for prescription drug safety. The numbers reflect that people believe the FDA and the drug companies are the primary entities that should be accountable, with doctors and Congress a distant third and fourth in the responsibility rankings.
 
People are clamoring for comprehensive transparency, and then perhaps their confidence will be restored in the pharmaceutical industry.

By Adam Herschkowitz
Get Pharmaceutical Sales Jobs, Contributing Editor

Source: Healthcare News (Vol. 7, Issue 6) "Lack of Trust in Both FDA and Pharmaceutical Companies Makes Drug Safety a Concern for Many."
Harris Interactive Inc.  All rights reserved.

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