A global look at consumer trust in hospitals and pharmaceutical companies with personal data
April 28th, 2021, Graeme Bruce

A global look at consumer trust in hospitals and pharmaceutical companies with personal data

Survey of 17 countries shows that, across the globe, fewer than half of the public trust hospitals with their personal data

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the importance of the health sector into sharp focus. Healthcare workers around the world continue to battle to reduce casualties, while pharmaceutical companies have stepped up to provide the ammunition necessary to suppress the virus. Public opinions of the health sector have improved as a result, but has this influenced the general public’s trust in the sector when dealing with personal data?

International YouGov data shows that globally, just under half (44%) of people are comfortable entrusting their personal details to hospitals. People in Sweden (57%), Germany (55%) and Poland (55%) are the most trusting, while trust is low among those in China (35%), Mexico (33%), and India (30%).

People are paying more attention to pharmaceutical companies and drug development than perhaps ever before. However, despite significant vaccine successes, trust in pharmaceutical companies in handling personal information does not appear to have increased as a result of the large-scale trials taking place around the globe.

Swedes (24%) are again the most trusting, closely followed by Mexicans (21%) and Danes (20%). However, Germans (8%) are significantly more sceptical of pharmaceutical companies, while residents of China (7%) and Hong Kong (6%) are also reluctant to hand over personal information.

In the survey which asked about trust in nine separate business sectors, hospitals came in second place and pharmaceutical companies came in fifth.


The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 505 to 2,251 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in February 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.

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