PwC survey sheds light on public confidence, misconceptions about the FDA

NEW YORK — The spate of recent product recalls may be eroding consumer confidence in the Food and Drug Administration, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of 1,000 Americans released Tuesday.

Approximately one-half of respondents reported they think the FDA does a good job, but more than one-third (36%) of U.S. consumers said they have lost confidence in the FDA over the past two years as a result of high profile safety concerns and product recalls.

The lay public also has no appreciation for the time and costs invested in bringing a new drug to market, according to the survey. Slightly more than half (54%) of respondents think it takes only five years or less to develop a new drug or medical device, when it in fact can take up to 12 years in research and development and costs well in excess of $1 billion.

As many as 72% of respondents have confidence that the FDA monitors product safety after products are approved and are being sold to the public, though 28% are not confident.

And while the majority of U.S. consumers (93%) have confidence in the safety and effectiveness of drugs and medical devices approved for use in the United States, and two-thirds agree that the U.S. has the highest standards in the world for drug safety and effectiveness, more than half (56%) would be willing to use drugs and devices not approved by the FDA but approved elsewhere.

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