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Americans Confused About FDA and Drug Safety
Date:9/20/2007

cent) believe that the U.S. health care system is "broken."
  • More than three-quarters believe a candidate's position on drug safety is "somewhat important" in choosing the next president.
  • A vast majority of Americans (88 percent) are confident that prescription drugs made in the United States are safe. In contrast, only 56 percent think that drugs made in Canada and Europe are safe, and only 14 percent think that drugs made in China and India are safe. Many of the drugs sold in the United States are made in China and India, Thurber noted.
  • Eighty-two percent of those polled said they trust the FDA when it comes to overseeing prescription drugs, 74 percent trust patient-advocate groups, 67 percent trust pharmaceutical companies, and 53 percent trust Congress.
  • A full 50 percent of Americans are skeptical of the ability of Congress to pass "common-sense" laws on how the FDA approves drugs, however. "Only 6 percent trust Congress to do the right thing," Thurber said.
  • But while the public trusts the FDA on the whole, they are divided about the agency's performance:

    • Of those surveyed, 53 percent said the FDA does an excellent or good job, while 47 percent rated its performance as fair or poor. Those aged 18-34 were more positive about the FDA, while seniors were more negative.
    • Few (8 percent) had either seen, read, or heard about the Food and Drug Administration Revitalization Act (FDARA).
    • People were equally divided on whether the FDA's review of new drugs should be paid for by the drug industry -- 47 percent were for the move, and 46 percent were against it.
    • Only 54 percent knew that the FDA approved all prescription drugs, while 37 percent thought that the FDA approved only some drugs.
    • Many people were confused about where the FDA gets its funding. Fifty-four percent said the government, 20 percent said drug companies, and 17 percent said bot
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