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Pharmacists among most-trusted professionals, Gallup finds
December 12th, 2011
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – When it comes to trust, Americans continue to rate pharmacists near the top among professions, according to Gallup's latest Honesty and Ethics survey.
Pharmacists came in second only to nurses and ahead of physicians in the annual poll, results of which were released Monday by Gallup.
The telephone survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults assessed the public's trust of professionals in a range of disciplines across industries. When asked how they would rate the honesty and ethical standards of a list of professions, 73% rated pharmacists "very high or high," behind nurses (84%) but just ahead of medical doctors (70%). In last year's survey, pharmacists came in third.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores noted that the results of this year's poll marked the ninth straight year that pharmacists have finished in the top three.
"As the Gallup survey supports, pharmacists are highly trusted individuals. Pharmacists require a minimum of six years of professional education to receive their degree and license. They are highly qualified medical professionals, providing medication therapy management services. Through medication counseling, pharmacists work one-to-one with patients to help them understand why it's important to take medications as prescribed," NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson said in a statement.
"Pharmacists also provide myriad additional health services, including administering vaccinations and providing preventive health education and screenings," Anderson added. "Pharmacists are innovators, working to help electronically integrate health and prescription records, which will help in providing better overall patient care and help reduce administrative costs."
In its report on the Honesty and Ethics survey results, Gallup said this year's 73% "very high/high" rating for pharmacists ties the profession's historical high from 2006. Pharmacists were the top-rated profession in the survey in 1988 and from 1990 to 1998.
"Congratulations to America's pharmacists on their recognition as the second most-trusted profession in America in 2011, according to Gallup. Americans' level of confidence in pharmacists increased again this year and tied a record high in the survey, which started in 1976 and has incorporated pharmacists since 1981," NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey stated.
"Community pharmacists are medication experts, known for their accessibility and patient-friendly ways. It's gratifying to see that even more Americans took note of those efforts this year," Hoey commented. "Local pharmacists are trusted, accessible and highly trained health care providers. We urge leaders in both the public and private sector to more robustly utilize the pharmacist's unique expertise and positioning to help improve health outcomes while cutting costs. The Gallup poll underscores the need by plans to make sure that patients can have choice in selecting their pharmacist through plan designs that align the interests of the patient, payer, plan, and pharmacy."
Also ranking high in Gallup's Honesty and Ethics poll were high school teachers, police officers and clergy. The lowest-rated professions included stockbrokers, advertising professionals, telemarketers, car salesmen, lobbyists and members of Congress, who came in at the bottom of the list.