Confidence in medications on the rise, but not Covid vaccines
Netherlands residents’ confidence in the medicines they use has increased slightly in recent years, according to a study by research institute Nivel and the Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB). On average, the Dutch rate their confidence in their medicines at 8.2. Trust in the Covid-19 vaccines is much lower at 6.8.
In the previous survey in 2018, Netherlands residents still rated their confidence in their medicines at 7.9. The researchers also measured people’s trust in vaccines for the first time this year. Netherlands residents give vaccines, in general, a 7.8, but the coronavirus vaccines only a 6.8.
Earlier this week, the European Commission reported that EU citizens’ confidence in vaccines is declining and that the Netherlands is one of the countries where trust has fallen the most. According to a spokesperson for the MEB, these figures are difficult to compare with the MEB’s study, partly because the participants were questioned differently.
Side effects are most often mentioned as a factor that negatively influences confidence in vaccines and the coronavirus vaccines in particular. However, a quarter of respondents said that side effects do not determine their confidence in vaccines. More than a quarter of people say that the speed with which the coronavirus vaccines were developed and the government’s communications about the vaccinations, among other things, also negatively impacted their confidence.
People have greater confidence in medicines if their effectiveness is good. Previous experience with the medication and the information provided about it by the doctor or pharmacist also have an influence, the researchers found. People also have more confidence in medicine’s information leaflets than in 2018. Information on the leaflet is trusted more quickly than information on social media.
Commissioned by the MEB, Nivel conducted the study among approximately 1,000 consumers and patients. According to MEB chairman Ton de Boer, the report shows that the Netherlands' confidence in medicines and vaccines is high.
The MEB said that confidence in medication is essential because it ensures that people use their medication correctly. De Boer added that it is important to continue to provide good information about medicines. The information in some leaflets can be clearer. The MEB is working on this, among other things, by drawing up information about vehicles in understandable language.
Reporting by ANP