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Consumer Reports Poll: 66% of Americans Blindsided by Cost of Drugs; Many Not Taking Needed Medications
Date:3/17/2009

e newly launched Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center to provide consumers with health ratings based on independent and unbiased review of the best scientific evidence available.

"By every measure, and certainly through our extensive polling, it is clear that our long term economic crisis will only be solved by also fixing our nation's health-care system," said Consumers Union President Jim Guest. According to Guest, Consumers Union has been a strong advocate of increased federal funding for comparative effectiveness -- the task of comparing different options for treating a medical condition -- which received $1.1 billion in stimulus funding and is being looked at by Congress for additional funding. "Comparative effectiveness research helps patients and doctors make better choices, and will help improve our broken health-care system," said Guest.

Misgivings About Generics

When generic versions of a brand name drug are available, they are as safe and effective as the original. For brand name drugs, where a generic version is not available, in many cases doctors or pharmacists can substitute the generic version of an older drug with equivalent effectiveness (and often a longer safety record).

  • Nearly half of Americans polled (47%) had reservations or misconceptions about taking generic drugs.
  • Forty-six percent of Americans polled by Consumer Reports said their physician never or sometimes recommended generics.
  • Accurate information about generics is not reaching the consumers who could benefit the most, such as those spending more than $50/month on prescription drugs (52%).
  • In a separate Consumer Reports poll of Hispanic consumers, 43% expressed misgivings about generics, saying they sometimes or never work.

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SOURCE Consumer Reports
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