COVID side-effect: Many of us are more interested in brand names of companies that make our medications. Here’s why that could be a good development

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Credit: Scrip
Credit: Scrip

In a new survey, my company, M Booth Health, found that a seismic shift has already begun. People are changing the ways they talk to their doctors about all of their medicines, and in particular, which prescription medications they accept or reject.

With a historic pandemic bringing unprecedented upheaval to their lives, people have spent more time and energy learning about science and medicine. They’ve become more knowledgeable and empowered. This goes beyond just COVID; it extends into all of their medical needs.

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The majority (57 percent) told us they are now more likely to read up on the science behind any vaccine or medication. Nearly as many (55 percent) said they’ll ask their doctors about all their therapeutic options instead of accepting the first recommendation they receive.

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The effects of this are difficult to overestimate. About half the U.S. population takes prescription drugs. More than four billion prescriptions are dispensed each year, topping half a trillion dollars in spending.

One in three respondents told us they now think of pharmaceutical companies as being similar to household name brands like Nike and Amazon. This is a sea change—one with repercussions that could be felt for decades to come.

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