Consumers find pharmacists most trustworthy

June 23, 2010

Pharmacists are the most trusted source for medical research information, according to a recent survey.

Pharmacists are the most trusted source for medical research information, according to a recent survey.

Commissioned by Research!America and Eli Lilly and Co. and conducted by Charlton Research Co., the survey of 1,000 U.S. adults indicates that 83% of U.S. adults said they trust medical research information from pharmacists, followed by patient groups (82%), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (79%), healthcare providers (78%), and the National Institutes of Health (61%).

“It is no surprise that pharmacists are viewed by consumers as the most trustworthy source when it comes to health and medical research issues,” said Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, president and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS). “Pharmacists have a reputation for being highly accessible and knowledgeable.”

According to the survey, only 17% of respondents said they regularly check government websites for medical research information, compared with 66% who said they consult commercial medical websites such as WebMD.

Among other survey results:

  • Healthcare costs and insurance issues continue to be the top health concern of respondents, followed by obesity (24%), cancer (11%), and heart disease (5%).
  • Seventy-six percent of respondents said that clinical research is of great value and that they would participate in a clinical study, but only 6% said their doctors have ever suggested participating in such a study.
  • Ninety-four percent of respondents said government, universities, and private industry should collaborate more to avoid duplication and maximize resources.

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

The study reflects the annual Gallup survey of integrity across professions. The latest results, which were released in December, ranked pharmacists No. 2 in public perception, behind only nurses. Pharmacists have been ranked in the top three of Gallup’s survey during each of the past 7 years, according to NACDS.