Public awareness of evidence-based medicine, the Cochrane collaboration and drug selection ­approaches in pharmacies

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Background. The importance of the appropriate use of medicines by the population (consumers of health services) based on the principles and achievements of evidence-based medicine is widely recognized. However, little attention is paid to this issue all over the world, and the knowledge of the population about evidence-based medicine and sources of reliable information in Russia is practically not studied.

Aim. To study public awareness of evidence-based medicine and the practice of choosing medicines.

Material and methods. A descriptive study among the inhabitants of Russia was carried out. Information was collected using a questionnaire that respondents filled out on their own. A total of 238 people (representing the general population) participated in the study, and the responses of 134 people (individuals working in health care, patients and caregivers) to questions about information were additionally used.

Results. The study showed that the majority of the population has no knowledge about evidence-based medicine (58%) and the Cochrane Collaboration (84%). Compared with the general population, a higher proportion of people working in health care were aware of both evidence-based medicine in general (41% vs. 26%; p=0.04) and the Cochrane Collaboration (37% vs. 5%; p=0.000002). 137/372 (37%) respondents experienced difficulties in choosing drugs in pharmacies, without significant differences between men and women. The most frequent difficulties in choosing medicines were ignorance of the comparative efficacy and safety of medicines, lack of understanding of the reasons for the variation in prices for the same medicine, the offer of predominantly expensive medicines by pharmacy workers, and the choice of the right medicine in a particular situation. When choosing medicines, the respondents most often relied on the recommendations of a doctor and a pharmacy worker. At the same time, half of the respondents also used other sources of information, the most popular of which was the Internet. The vast majority of respondents are interested in obtaining independent, evidence-based information about medicines.

Conclusion. A low level of public awareness of evidence-based medicine and difficulties in choosing medicines in a pharmacy were revealed.

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About the authors

Guzel N. Sharafutdinova

Interregional Clinical and Diagnostic Center

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5355-7828

expert, Depart. of Clinical Pharmacology

Russian Federation, Kazan, Russia

Aliya F. Mullanurova

International School “Alabuga”

ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8687-4857


Russian Federation, Yelabuga, Russia

Anna A. Korableva

City Polyclinic No. 21

ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6322-4659

M.D., Cand. Sci. (Med.), Clinical Pharmacologist

Russian Federation, Kazan, Russia

Liliya I. Talipova

Interregional Clinical and Diagnostic Center

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3681-3447

M.D., Clinical pharmacologist, Deputy General Director for Medical Affairs

Russian Federation, Kazan, Russia

Liliya E. Ziganshina

Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education; Kazan State Medical University; Peoples' Friendship University of Russia

ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1999-0705

M.D., D. Sci. (Med.), Prof., Leading Coordinator, Center for Translation of Evidence-Based Medical Knowledge; Kazan State Medical University; Chief Specialist in Clinical Pharmacology

Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia; Kazan, Russia; Moscow, Russia

Rustem N. Khairullin

Interregional Clinical and Diagnostic Center

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2160-7720

M.D., D. Sci. (Med.), General Director

Russian Federation, Kazan, Russia


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