Two-thirds of adults in the United States trust their physicians to choose the most appropriate drugs for them, while just 23% of the public believes pharmaceutical marketers have too much influence, according to a nationwide survey released Thursday.
Patients also are overwhelmingly in favor of letting their physicians decide for themselves whether to meet with pharmaceutical sales representatives. Sixty-four percent of the 4,173 respondents to the Harris Interactive/Wall Street Journal Online poll said the choice should belong to their physicians.
Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed (72%) said yes when asked if drug companies should sponsor continuing medical education programs for physicians that include information about the benefits of specific drugs. Only 11% opposed.
However, respondents are split regarding drug marketing tactics. One-quarter of those surveyed say pharmaceutical companies are "much too aggressive" in marketing to physicians, while 30% consider marketing efforts to be "a little too aggressive" and 26% call sales tactics "acceptable and reasonable."
The remaining 19% of respondents are unsure, according to Rochester, N.Y.-based Harris Interactive.