Gallup survey reaffirms pharmacists’ high standing

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Community pharmacists still are among the nation’s most trusted professionals.

That’s the finding from Gallup’s newly released "Honesty and Ethics" survey. The polling firm reported that for the eighth consecutive year, Americans ranked pharmacists among the top three professional groups for honesty and trustworthiness, behind nurses and military officers. According to Gallup, 71% of respondents in its latest poll rated pharmacists’ honesty and ethical standards of pharmacists as “very high” or “high,” which marked an increase from 66% in 2009.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores immediately hailed the survey results. “The public trust in pharmacists that is reflected in the Gallup survey provides further support for entrusting pharmacists with responsibilities that can help improve patients’ lives and reduce healthcare costs,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson Friday.

The poll results affirmed the increasingly critical role pharmacists can play in the nation’s beleaguered healthcare network, Anderson said. “Pharmacists are the face of neighborhood health care. They are highly accessible, with nearly all Americans living within 5 miles of a community pharmacy. They also are highly trusted — a concept that is supported again by the Gallup survey. We find that people are interested to hear about the education that pharmacists receive. To sit for pharmacy board licensure exams today, candidates must have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, which requires a minimum of six years of professional education. Pharmacists are well qualified to meet the day-to-day needs of patients, as well as to help patients chart strategies to take their medications correctly,” Anderson added.

Similarly, the National Community Pharmacists Association praised the survey, stating that, “In business the common refrain is ‘the customer is always right’. The Gallup rating demonstrates the care pharmacists take in delivering indispensible prescription drug related services is appreciated. We hope to work with the public and private sector to grow pharmacists’ role in making Americans healthier, while helping to pursue the elusive, but attainable, goal of reducing costs,” the association said.

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