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A new national survey from the HPRA released today charts changing attitudes among consumers towards medical and health information.
Ms Lorraine Nolan, Chief Executive of HPRA, said it had concerns over some of the findings.
“Although large numbers are reading the product information on the label and leaflet the HPRA is concerned that overall the trend in the numbers accessing this information is downwards,” she said.
“We encourage people to always read this information and not just the first time that they take a new medicine.
“Significant details such as the contraindications or potential side effects can change from time to time so it is important that those on long-term medication consult the product information regularly.”
The research finds that one in four (26 per cent) of adults admit that they never read product information for an over the counter medicine, with a further one in five (21 per cent) never reading information for a prescription only medicine – a rise from 14 per cent and 12 per cent respectively in 2010.
The survey also charts the increasing influence of the Internet with four out of ten people (43 per cent) using it to source information on health issues. However, consistent with previous HPRA surveys, the findings show that GPs and pharmacists continue to be the most trusted sources of advice on medicines.