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Most Americans Favor More Medical Research

January 9, 2013
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Poll reveals concerns about medical progress in a tight fiscal climate

At a time of rancorous political divisions, it’s worth noting that most Americans are deeply concerned about the quality of healthcare—in particular, medical research. In a poll by Research!America, 72 percent of respondents say the new Congress and the President should take immediate action to expand medical research within the first hundred days of the 113th Congress. Their views are relevant as Congress considers funding cuts that could affect medical research, but it also suggests that healthcare issues in general are topmost on many people’s minds.

The poll, with a sample size of between 800 and 1,053 adults, and data is demographically representative of adult U.S. residents, was conducted in partnership with Zogby Analytics and Charlton Research Company.

Other takeaways from the survey include:

  • A big majority (61 percent) believe that the cost of healthcare is the most critical health issue in America, far ahead of obesity (18 percent), cancer (6 percent), mental health (3 percent), heart disease (2 percent), and diabetes (2 percent).
  • Most (54 percent) believe that research is part of the solution to rising healthcare costs.
  • Almost half (48 percent) of respondents believe that the U.S. doesn’t have the best healthcare in the world.
  • 48 percent say it is very important to fund research focused on improving how the U.S. healthcare system is functioning.
  • Two-thirds of respondents say they would share their health information to advance research, assuming that appropriate privacy protections were in place.
  • Nearly half (48 percent) believe that government investment in health research for military veterans and service members is not enough.
  • 75 percent say that medical research is important to eliminate health disparaties among certain populations.
  • 84 percent say it is either somewhat important or very important that the U.S. invest in advancing regulatory science to make the drug and device development process more efficicny for business and safer.