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Survey from Qualio Finds 50%+ of U.S. Consumers Refuse To Use a Healthcare Prescription or Product After a Recall
[July 27, 2022]

Survey from Qualio Finds 50%+ of U.S. Consumers Refuse To Use a Healthcare Prescription or Product After a Recall

Consumers also urge the FDA and other regulators to prioritize public reporting of quality data from life sciences companies

SAN FRANCISCO, July 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Qualio — the trusted cloud quality management system software for the entire life sciences ecosystem — announced a new survey of 2,002 U.S. consumers of healthcare products. The survey uncovered that recalls and related quality issues have a pronounced and enduring impact on purchases of drugs, devices, therapies, and other healthcare products. Overall, survey data found that more than half (51%) of U.S. adults are unlikely to use a prescription drug that has experienced a recall, regardless of whether that issue was fixed. The same amount (51%) also indicated they'd unlikely use a recalled non-prescription healthcare product (e.g., over-the-counter medication, supplements/vitamins, skin products) after a recall.

Qualio led this survey to better understand how far-reaching quality-related product recalls are when it comes to consumer trust and healthcare-specific purchasing decisions. The survey of consumers who are responsible for healthcare purchasing decisions for themselves and/or their families found that product recalls have long-term impact on whether consumers trust a brand and the products that brand sells. An overwhelming 80% of consumers are at least somewhat unlikely to use a specific healthcare product if they learn the FDA has issued a warning letter related to product quality issues. However, 52% overall indicated they would be very unlikely to use — or would never use — that product again.

Additional notable findings from the U.S. consumer survey from Qualio include:

  • Consumers tend to hold an entire brand accountable, not just a product, when they learn about a quality issue — 80% are at least somewhat unlikely to ever trust a manufacturer again after learning the FDA issued a warning letter for even a single product, with nearly half (47%) very unlikely or never willing to use any product from that brand or manufacturer again.
  • High-profile product recalls can have long-term impact on healthcare companies and products — When asked about a recall of leading sunscreen brands from 2021, approximately two-thirds (64%) of consumers who were familiar wit the recalls said they'd be less willing to buy those products moving forward, regardless of the company's efforts to then address related quality issues.
  • U.S. healthcare consumers, especially younger generations, are more attuned to news about healthcare products   73% follow news and updates about the prescriptions and healthcare products they use. Nearly half (43%) of these active consumers report they are frequently or always searching for news about the prescriptions or healthcare products they use. Frequent searching is increasingly common among younger generations, with 61% of healthcare consumers aged 18 to 24 frequently or always searching for news and information about the prescription drugs or healthcare products they use compared to only 37% of U.S. adults 65 and older.

"As a company that supports emerging life sciences companies in accelerating product availability while also safeguarding quality, we wanted to better understand how consumers view product recalls and in what ways regulatory warnings really impact consumer decisions," said Kelly Stanton, director of quality, Qualio. "The findings show just how seriously U.S. consumers are taking healthcare-specific product recalls and quality challenges, as well as how these issues then impact overall brand reputation and trust in life-saving products."

Qualio's survey also found that consumers want regulators to proactively measure quality for healthcare prescriptions and products, requesting more transparency into a manufacturer's approach to quality at an organizational level. According to the survey, 84% believe the FDA should gather and publicly report quality management data about an entire manufacturer — and not just about a single product or practice area. The same amount (84%) also say they would rely on FDA information or scoring related to a pharmaceutical company's "culture of quality" within their organization when making their purchasing decisions.

In March 2022, the FDA called for comments on changes to its previously proposed Quality Metrics Reporting Program, which includes looking at quality management performance across a pharmaceutical manufacturer. As the FDA looks to sharpen its quality measurement practices within the life sciences, the process remains largely manual and driven by paper.

"Despite digitization across most other industries, quality management continues to be walled up in paper and hard copy binders within many life sciences companies," said Robert Fenton, founder and CEO, Qualio. "Our survey found that 56% of consumers believe the entire quality management process in pharma and medical device industries should be digitized. These companies have the tools and technologies available to reimagine quality; it's just a matter of educating them on how best to adopt next-gen quality technology and best practices that will accelerate availability of their life-saving products while reducing the risk of quality issues."

For more insights and data from this survey, please visit

Qualio's survey was conducted in partnership with independent market research firm PureSpectrum in April 2022. For more information on methodology, please visit

About Qualio

With nearly 500 life sciences customers worldwide, Qualio is the most trusted quality management software for teams launching and scaling life-saving products. Leading pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, and clinical research organizations leverage Qualio's cloud-based quality management system software to unite their teams' processes and data. Qualio enables customers to deliver on the promise of quality and meet the complex regulatory compliance requirements without sacrificing speed.

Qualio's global, all-remote team prides itself on empowering customers to deliver effective, consistent, and safe products that improve all of our lives. For more information, please visit us at, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

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