Survey shows most Americans confident in safety of prescription drugs

September 21, 2007

Americans confident about drug safety

Most Americans believe U.S.-made prescription drugs are safe but have doubts about those manufactured in other parts of the world, a new survey has concluded. The public confidence level in drugs manufactured in the United States is 88%, according to results of a national survey conducted by the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University. The survey showed confidence levels dropping significantly for drugs manufactured in Europe and Canada (56%) and China and India (14%). And while 82% of Americans trust the FDA on prescription drug issues, those surveyed are at odds over the agency's overall performance: 53% rate the FDA's performance as "excellent" or "good," while 47% rate it as "fair" or "poor." Overall, senior citizens are more critical of the FDA than 18- to 34-year-olds, the survey found. Though few people know about the Food & Drug Administration Revitalization Act (FDARA), half of those surveyed doubt the ability of Congress to pass "commonsense" laws governing the way the FDA approves drugs. The national telephone survey of 800 people was conducted Sept. 4-6 by the Mellman Group and Public Opinion Strategies. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46%.

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