Doctors Say Drug Safety Coverage Blown Out of Proportion, Poll Finds
The recent flood of negative news about drug safety concerns has hurt the image of drugmakers in the eyes of both consumers and physicians, but doctors also say media attention has been blown out of proportion, a new poll finds.
Fifty-one percent of physicians and 57 percent of consumers who have followed the media coverage of concerns over drug products in recent months now view the pharmaceutical industry less favorably, according to a survey by NOP World Health, an industry research firm.
But consumers and physicians are split on what they think should be done to address drug safety concerns. A total of 75 percent of consumers agree the pharmaceutical industry has "fundamental problems and needs an overhaul." But only 40 percent of physicians agree this statement is true, according to the poll of 350 physicians and 1,000 consumers.
Furthermore, 81 percent of doctors agree the media are "blowing the problems with drug safety out of proportion." But only 40 percent of consumers agree with this statement. In addition, 74 percent of consumers agree there should be tougher regulations for the pharmaceutical industry, compared to only 34 percent of doctors who believe the same. Still, both consumers (70 percent) and doctors (80 percent) agree the pharmaceutical industry is basically reliable and the news reports are covering the exceptions.
The gap in perception is partly a result of the fact that the pharmaceutical industry has invested significant time and money in its relationship with physicians, said Barry Zimmerman, CEO of NOP World Health. "The physicians tend to be a bit more savvy about medicines in general," he said. "They understand the risk-benefit reward with any of the pharmaceuticals that come out."