Pew Prescription Project finds growing consumer awareness of drug quality problems

Pharmaceutical Commerce, Pharmaceutical Commerce - July/August 2010,

Survey shows that 36% of Americans likely to vote have heard of unsafe ingredients

The Pew Prescription Project (PPP; Washington, DC; a part of The Pew Charitable Trusts) has released a survey showing that more than a third of American “likely to vote” (take heed, Washington!) have heard about drug-quality problems, and of those, a majority (60%) believe that FDA should be doing more about it. PPP released the study just as Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced the “Drug Safety and Accountability Act,” a bill intended to give FDA more authority in examining drug supply chains and sourcing. In supporting the legislation, Allan Coukell, director of PPP, said that “This bill will help to protect the drug supply chain by strengthening manufacturing quality standards throughout the pharmaceutical industry, which is critical as drug companies increasingly rely on contractors in countries where regulatory standards may be lower than those in the United States.”

The PPP survey shows some well-informed consumers on drug sourcing and quality: while 78% are “extremely/mostly confident” of US manufacturing quality, the percentage goes down to 8% for India and 6% for China.

Overall, 58% of respondents “strongly” support the Bennet legislation, and 31% “somewhat” support it. In addition, 73% “strongly” favor unique IDs on individual drug packages, and 72% “strongly” favor listing ingredient origin on the drug label.