Pharmacists continue to be well-regarded by Americans in terms of honesty and ethics, according to an annual poll by Gallup.

pharmacists, Gallup, Honesty & Ethics survey, ethical standards, integrity, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, NACDS, Steve Anderson, B. Douglas Hoey, National Community Pharmacists Association

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Gallup: Pharmacists among most-trusted professionals

December 16th, 2013

WASHINGTON – Pharmacists continue to be well-regarded by Americans in terms of honesty and ethics, according to an annual poll by Gallup.

In Gallup's yearly Honesty & Ethics survey, released Monday, 70% of the 1,031 U.S. adults polled rated pharmacists as "very high" or "high" in honesty and ethical standards. Only nurses, with 82% of respondents deeming them "very high/high" in integrity, finished higher than pharmacists in the poll, which gauges the public's trust of professionals in a range of disciplines across industries.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores noted that it was the 11th straight year that pharmacists ranked in the top three. This year, pharmacists ranked second, tied with grade school teachers. Yet pharmacists saw their 70% rating down from its all-time high of 75% last year.

"Americans continue to view their pharmacists as highly trusted and well-respected professionals, as evidenced by this year's Gallup's honesty and integrity survey," NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson said in a statement.

Anderson noted that pharmacists' high level of qualifications and training is reflected in the public's trust of the profession, as is patients' regular interaction with them.

"Today's pharmacists spend more than six years obtaining professional education to receive their degree and license. In addition to providing safe access to prescription medications, pharmacists also provide a variety of health services to help patients feel better and live better, and reduce healthcare costs," he explained. "One-to-one, face-to-face interactions enable pharmacists to counsel patients about the importance of taking medications as prescribed. In addition, pharmacists administer vaccinations, including flu shots, and provide preventive health tests. They also offer educational programs and services to help patients manage diseases and chronic conditions."

Other professions in the Gallup poll earning high marks for integrity included medical doctors (69% rated very high/high), military officers (69% very high/high) and police officers (54% very high/high).

Ranking at the bottom were lobbyists (just 6% of respondents rated them very high/high), with members of Congress (8% rated very high/high) and car salesmen (9% rated very high/high) only slightly higher.

"We applaud pharmacists for once again achieving an impressive level of confidence and trust from the American public. Seventy percent of respondents rated pharmacists as very high or high when it comes to honesty and ethical standards. Pharmacists ranked second overall among the more than 20 professions included in the survey," stated B. Douglas Hoey, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association.

"The combination of their goodwill with consumers, extensive training, medication expertise and easy accessibility has pharmacists perfectly positioned to play a larger role in the U.S. health care system," he added. "Emerging new care models such as accountable care organizations should fully integrate pharmacists. In addition, policymakers and plan sponsors should better utilize pharmacists' public standing and knowledge to improve health outcomes and reduce costs, such as through the provision of medication adherence services and medication therapy management."