Lupin 2023

Pharmacists top source for health information

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WASHINGTON — Pharmacists are the most trusted source for medical research information, followed by patient groups and the federal government, according to a recent survey on a variety of health care issues.

The poll of 1,000 adults in the United States, commissioned by Research!America and Eli Lilly and Co. and conducted by Charlton Research Co., finds that 83% of adults say they trust medical research information from pharmacists, 82% prefer patient groups most, 79% say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 78% favor obtaining such information from health care providers, and 61% say the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Only 17% say they regularly check government web sites for medical research information, compared with 66% who say they consult such commercial medical web sites as WebMD.

"It is no surprise that pharmacists are viewed by consumers as the most trustworthy source when it comes to health and medical research issues," says National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson. "Pharmacists have a reputation for being highly accessible and knowledgeable. NACDS believes findings like those in this research can help make the case for the role of pharmacists in helping patients take medications properly."

On other issues, the survey finds that adults rate health care costs and insurance issues as their top health concern, followed by obesity, cancer and heart disease. Seventy-six percent say clinical research is of great value and that they would participate in a clinical study, but only 6% of their doctors have suggested participating in one.

Ninety-four percent believe the government, universities and private industry should work more closely and in collaboration to avoid duplication and maximize resources.

Three-quarters of Americans accurately name the Food and Drug Administration as the government agency that regulates such products as new drugs and medical devices, and a majority (72%) say they see the FDA as a trustworthy source of medical research information.

When asked what is the most important role of the FDA, 59% say protecting the safety of Americans, 17% say providing accurate information about benefits and risks associated with medicines and medical products, and 7% say regulating companies that produce medicines and medical products.

"Public expectations for medical progress are very high — Americans want new drugs and medical devices delivered faster, and they rightly want safety to be a top priority," says Research!America president and chief executive officer Mary Woolley. "To meet these expectations, resources for the FDA and our nation’s health research agencies — the NIH and the CDC — need to keep pace so they can fulfill their missions, and the public needs to let elected officials know how important these issues are."

The nationwide poll, conducted in February, has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.


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