If we were to believe the mainstream media’s spin on the past two years of COVID-19, then the pharma industry saved the world, our governments told us the truth about the virus and the experimental vaccines developed to fight it, and journalists were a reliable source of news and information about the pandemic. A new survey paints a rather different picture, however. Polling 10,000 people from 10 different countries, it found that pharma company CEOs, government leaders, and journalists are now the least trusted sources in relation to health.
Conducted by communications firm Edelman, the survey illustrates how the public are increasingly turning away from traditional authorities when it comes to who they trust on the subject of health. Revealingly, only 46 percent of those questioned said they trusted pharma CEOs and government leaders to tell the truth. Journalists fared worst of all, with just 41 percent of people saying they could be trusted about health.
The most trusted sources in the survey turned out to be the patients’ own doctors, with 76 percent of respondents saying they could rely upon them to tell the truth. Even friends and family were seen as more trustworthy than pharma CEOs, government leaders, and journalists, with 63 percent of people citing them as a reliable source of health information.
Similar findings emerged when people were asked who could be trusted to do what is right. Doctors fared best, with 76 percent saying they could be trusted on this. The groups seen as being least trustworthy in this respect were government leaders, trusted by just 43 percent, and journalists, trusted by 44 percent.
Interestingly, there was widespread agreement among the survey respondents that good quality healthcare is a basic human right and that it should be available to everyone. A majority of people in all 10 of the countries taking part in the survey agreed with this statement. The numbers agreeing ranged from 84 percent in Mexico down to 69 percent in the United States and 64 percent in Japan. The average across all 10 countries was 76 percent.
A majority of people also said the COVID-19 pandemic had actually decreased their confidence that their national healthcare systems were equipped to handle major health crises. The highest numbers of respondents agreeing with this statement were found in Japan (71 percent) and Mexico (64 percent). Globally, the average was 52 percent.
Large numbers of people questioned in the survey said they now see governments and the media as dividing forces in society, rather than unifying forces. Many were also worried that medical science is becoming politicized or is being used to support a specific political agenda. Taken together these findings go a long way towards explaining the overall tone of the responses received by the survey. With trust in the provision of accurate health information having clearly been lost in many countries, it will not be easily won back. In this situation, a continuation of the existing healthcare status quo is clearly not the answer.
Worldwide there is now increasing recognition that the drug industry has corrupted the practice of medicine. Peer-reviewed research published in 2019 demonstrated the effects of this when it identified almost 400 commonly used medical practices that are ineffective. Accounting for over one-third of such practices, pharmaceutical drugs were the most commonly administered ineffective interventions. Evidence suggests these medications are simply the tip of the iceberg.
The growing worldwide interest in non-patentable natural health therapies such as vitamins demonstrates that patients are now well aware of the existence of alternative approaches to healthcare. As a result, doctors increasingly get requests for non-drug forms of treatment. Despite this, it would appear that governments see the existence of non-drug approaches as an economic threat to the trillion dollar a year pharmaceutical industry. This stance has clearly not been taken in the best interests of patients.
Trust is hard to win. Once lost, it is difficult to win back. If pharma CEOs, government leaders, and journalists want to improve their reputations as untrustworthy sources of information on health, they would probably do well to reflect on this.