March 09, 2005 08:26 ET

Vioxx Recall Hurt American's Confidence in FDA, Not Rx Drugs

Consumers understand trade-offs between drug benefit and risks, according to Ipsos survey Attention: Business/Financial Editor, Health/Medical Editor, News Editor NEW YORK, NY--(CCNMatthews - March 9, 2005) - Consumer response to concerns about COX-2 inhibitors Celebrex, Vioxx, and Bextra was emblematic of how informed health consumers are changing pharmaceutical manufacturers' susceptibility to shifts in public opinion, consumer confidence, and corporate credibility. Despite the hype, Americans are more confident in safety of prescription drugs than in they are in the Federal Drug Administration's ability to ensure safety with use.

The findings of an Associated Press and Ipsos Public Affairs poll suggest that consumers acknowledge the inherent risks in pharmaceutical drugs, but want the risks and benefits to be clearly communicated and effectively scrutinized by the agency approving the drugs that come to market, according to Fariba Zamaniyan, Vice President of Marketing and Business development for the Ipsos Health practice and a specialist in prescription drug purchase trends.

"Americans expect the FDA to do a better job of scrutinizing drugs before they come to market, and of communicating the risks,' said Zamaniyan, "but, ultimately, pharmaceutical manufacturers will have to respond quickly and address the public's safety concerns and information demands, or risk losing consumer confidence."

In her essay "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Pharmaceutical Companies Contend with Drug Benefit and Risk Communications" Zamaniyan examines the new predicament for pharmaceutical manufacturers. "With greater consumer brand awareness comes increased sensitivity to shifts in public opinion, consumer confidence, and corporate credibility."

The essay appears in the latest issue of Ipsos Ideas, the newsletter published by the Ipsos Group, the fastest growing market research company in the U.S. Ipsos Ideas delivers the insights and ideas that Ipsos has gleaned from each of their research specialty practices: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, public affairs, and forecasting, modeling, and consulting.

Zamaniyan also contributed the health article "Living Longer, Living Stronger: The Health Challenge of an Aging Population," which examines the challenges of new drugs, longer lives, and an aging population.

The complete text of both articles and previous health-related essays and white papers are available at
www.ipsos-ideas.com or by electronic subscription.

For more information, please contact:

Fariba Zamaniyan
Vice President
Ipsos Health

Ipsos in North America

Ipsos is the fastest growing market research company in the U.S., market leader in Canada, and among the most trusted research brands in North America. With more than 1,300 professionals and support staff in the U.S. and Canada, Ipsos offers a suite of survey-based services-guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies-in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos companies offer a complete line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services.

Ipsos conducts polling on behalf of the Associated Press, the world's oldest and largest news organization, Business Week, Newsweek.com, as well as Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, and the CTV network.

In 2004, Ipsos generated € 605.6 million ($752.8 million U.S.) in total revenues, of which 38% came from its North American operations. The Paris-based company was founded in 1975 and has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999.

Visit www.ipsos-na.com to learn more about Ipsos' offerings and capabilities.

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