Pharmacists Rank Among Most Trusted Professionals

Eileen Oldfield, Associate Editor
Published Online: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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Pharmacists placed second among the country’s most trusted professionals in a Gallup poll, retaining a spot in the top 3 for the tenth consecutive year.

Pharmacists have once again been ranked among the country’s top professions in terms of honesty and ethical standards. In an annual poll conducted by Gallup, pharmacists placed second among the professions listed, with 75% of respondents expressing a high or very high opinion of their honesty and ethical standards. This is the highest honesty rating the profession has ever received in the poll.
 
“In the Gallup’s more than 3-decade-old survey the level of respect for pharmacists has been consistently high,” said National Community Pharmacists Association CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, in a press release. “We don’t rest on our laurels; instead each year we strive to become better.”
 
“Their second place ranking this year illustrates that pharmacists are highly-trusted medical professionals, with a minimum of 6 years of professional education to receive their degree and license,” said National Association of Chain Drug Stores President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, in a press release. “Not only do community pharmacists dispense prescription medications, but they also provide a number of health services that help patients improve their health and also reduce health care costs.”
 
The poll placed pharmacists ahead of physicians, who received a 70% honesty rating, but behind nurses, who received an 85% honesty rating. Before nurses began to be included in the survey in 1999, pharmacists routinely took first place in the survey, according to Gallup. The profession’s honesty rating has never dipped below 60% throughout the history of the survey.
 
“Our hope is that the decision makers in the private and public sector who make policy and choose prescription drug plans will tap further into the expertise and results pharmacists can bring to health care,” Hoey added. “For example, the trust that Americans place in their pharmacists makes these highly trained health care professionals a prime resource to help improve outcomes and reduce costs by boosting patient compliance with their prescribed medication regimen.”
 
This year’s survey included ratings for 22 professions, and all 6 medical professions that were included received high honesty ratings. The lowest ratings went to car salespeople and members of Congress, who received honesty ratings of 8% and 10%, respectively. Members of Congress have generally received low ratings in the survey and this year received the highest rate of very low and low ratings, 54%. However, their rating has risen slightly since 2011, when they received an all-time low rating of 7%.
 
Survey respondents included 1015 adults living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, who were interviewed by telephone. The error margin for the sample is ± 4 percentage points.

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