Pharmacists Top Most Trusted Professions in Gallup Poll

January 10, 2020

NACDS says DIR fees, other policies need to change.

Pharmacists remain at the top of the Gallup’s annual survey of professionals that rank the highest in “honesty and ethics”.

For the 18th year in a row, nurses ranked as the most trusted professionals, as 85% of Americans say their honesty and ethical standards are "very high" or “high”. Engineers placed second at 66%, followed by medical doctors (65%), and pharmacists (64%).

“Medical professions in general rate highly in Americans' assessments of honesty and ethics, with at least 6 in 10 US adults saying medical doctors, pharmacists, and dentists have high levels of these virtues,” according to Gallup.  

The survey results should encourage federal and state government officials to “see the findings as yet another call to leverage pharmacies more completely for patient health, and to reverse unfair pharmacy reimbursement practices that are jeopardizing patients’ access to care,” NACDS said in a statement.

“Patients trust pharmacists and rely on their accessibility. Studies show that patients are more likely to do the things that keep them healthy when they have access to pharmacists and pharmacies,” Steven C. Anderson, president and CEO of NACDS, said. “Studies also show the link between fair reimbursement policies, forward-thinking policies that improve access to pharmacy services, and improved patient health.”

However, the current “extremely flawed and unfair policies” are threatening pharmacy access,” Anderson said. “These include direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees, broader examples of forcing pharmacies to fill prescriptions below-cost, and other extremely damaging and unworkable policies. They also include unwarranted barriers to pharmacy care that is valued by patients. These issues need to be addressed urgently. It is a matter of fairness to pharmacies and to patients alike.”

B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, CEO of NCPA, echoed Anderson’s comments. "These results underscore the extent to which patients truly value their pharmacist, and validate the urgent need to change the pharmacy payment model to a system that is straightforward, understood by consumers, and rewards pharmacies for the services they provide,” he said.

Extensive training, medication expertise, accessibility, and compassion have led to pharmacists’ consistently high ranking in consumer confidence surveys, Hoey said. “Catering to the needs of their communities makes community pharmacists uniquely indispensable to the patients they serve.”

References:

Nurses Continue to Rate Highest in Honesty, Ethics [news release]. Gallup’s website. https://news.gallup.com/poll/274673/nurses-continue-rate-highest-honesty-ethics.aspx.