Less surprisingly, the public is also distrustful of medical research, and instead relies on the advice of family and friends. Most also want to see simpler package inserts that explain in everyday English the risks of a drug, instead of listing them in "impenetrable" and "unreadable" small print.
In all, 82 per cent of the 1,000 doctors polled said they didn't trust the results of trials that had been paid for by the drug company whose product was being tested, and feared the data had been massaged to achieve a positive result. Around 67 per cent of the 2,000 members of the public who were also polled shared the same concerns.
The UK's Academy of Medical Sciences, which organised the survey, is calling for greater transparency, including clearer labelling and package inserts. But while the drug industry remains the only major sponsor of drug trials, the dangers of biased and manipulated research remain.
The academy's Prof Sir John Tooke, who oversaw the survey, said he was startled by its findings. "Information from research will need to be more accessible and understandable, as well as reliable and trustworthy in the future," he said.
The survey had been commissioned by the UK's chief medical officer of health, Prof Dame Sally Davies, in the wake of controversies over a range of drugs, including statins, HRT (hormone replacement therapy), and Tamiflu.