Remember When: Pharmacists overwhelmingly support Reagan re-election bid


The more things change, the more more they remain the same.

Do you remember voting in the 1984 presidential race? If you answered yes, you probably remember that President Ronald Reagan won by a landslide, with 54.4 million votes (58.5% of the popular vote) and 525 electoral votes (97.58%). Former Vice President Walter Mondale was able to win only his home state of Minnesota and the District of Columbia.

Pharmacists throughout the country had already predicted Reagan as the winner,  as the Sept. 17, 1984, edition of Drug Topics reveals. More than 600 pharmacists from the journal’s national circulation were randomly surveyed, and 247 usable responses (41%) were tallied. Of the 247 participants, 81% indicated that they would vote for Reagan.

Most of the pharmacists (56.9%) who completed the survey considered themselves to be “conservative” politically; 36.2% had marked that they were “moderates”; and 6.5% claimed the “liberal” designation. Almost half (48.1%) were Republicans. Only about 20.2% identified as Democrats, and almost 30% were independents.

Top pharmacy issues

Thirty-two years later, the top pharmacy issues haven’t changed drastically.

In Drug Topics’ 1984 political poll, pharmacists ranked the following as pressing challenges for the chain drugstore industry:

  • Third-party reimbursements (27.7%)

  • Competition from chain/discounters (10.9%)

  • Price increases by manufacturers (9.8%)

  • Government regulation (7.6%)

  • Health maintenance organizations (6%)

  • Other (mail order, price wars, and the rapidly changing role of pharmacists) (<6%) 

Today’s Poll

Drug Topics would like to hear from you about the upcoming 2016 presidential election.

Please take a moment to visit and complete our short survey. We will publish the results in the September print edition of the magazine and online.

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