Americans’ trust in pharmacists continued to shine in Gallup’s annual measure of honesty and ethical standards. NACDS urged 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.

The Gallup survey conducted December 2-15, 2019, maintained pharmacy’s consistent position among the most highly esteemed professionals. Nearly two-thirds of Americans called pharmacists’ honesty and ethical standards “very high or high.”

NACDS President & CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, said, “This latest Gallup survey is yet another important data point. 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. Studies also show the link between fair reimbursement policies, forward-thinking policies that improve access to pharmacy services, and improved patient health. Together, we have built success stories that benefit patients.

“However, right now there are dire examples playing out of extremely flawed and unfair policies. They are threatening pharmacy access. 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.”

NACDS cited its own data, including a 2019 survey conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by NACDS. It showed 67 percent of American voters agree that change is needed in rules that result in below-cost or unpredictable reimbursement from payers to pharmacies.

More information about NACDS’ advocacy for pro-patient and pro-pharmacy issues is available at accessagenda.NACDS.org.