Arlington, Va. – Gallup’s highly-anticipated Honesty and Ethics survey ranks pharmacists second again this year—behind only nurses—and in the top three for the 14th straight year.
The takeaway for policymakers is that the pharmacist-patient relationship has tremendous potential to do even more to improve patient health and well-being, along with the overall quality and affordability of healthcare.
The annual survey measures the public’s trust of diverse professions in healthcare and beyond.
“The rating that pharmacists earned in this annual Gallup survey is built on established pharmacist-patient relationships in neighborhoods throughout the nation. The takeaway for policymakers is that the pharmacist-patient relationship has tremendous potential to do even more to improve patient health and well-being, along with the overall quality and affordability of healthcare,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE.
“Heading into 2017, NACDS will advocate for improving patient access to pharmacists’ services by designating pharmacists as providers in Medicare; optimizing patient care through enhanced scope of practice for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians alike; and continuously working for reasonable reimbursement levels and other policies that are essential for the viability of pharmacy patient care.”
Anderson noted that at the end of the 114th Congress, federal legislation to improve access to pharmacist-provided services among underserved Medicare patients (S. 314/H.R. 592) was cosponsored on a bipartisan basis for two-thirds of the U.S. House of Representatives and one-half of the U.S. Senate. He also noted the importance of keeping pharmacy top-of-mind amid any efforts to alter the Affordable Care Act, as pharmacy groups urged in a letter this week to the new administration and to Congressional leaders.
The exact question Gallup asked survey participants was: “Please tell me how you would rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in these different fields—very high, high, average, low or very low?” For pharmacists, 67 percent said “very high” or “high.” For nurses, 84 percent responded in that way. Medical doctors ranked third, followed by engineers.
The Gallup findings are consistent with NACDS’ opinion research. In a survey last month of likely voters who are highly aware and engaged in current events – commissioned by NACDS and conducted by Public Opinion Strategies – pharmacies achieved a 63 percent favorability rating. Further, respondents gave their own pharmacy a 75 percent favorability rating and their own pharmacist a 77 percent favorability rating. Those who are more frequent users of pharmacist-provided services rate pharmacies and pharmacists even more highly.
“The Gallup survey and NACDS’ own research – as well as a host of other sources – validate the NACDS members’ role as the face of neighborhood healthcare,” Anderson said. “We look forward to working with policymakers at the federal and state levels to sustain and advance the accessibility, quality and affordability of healthcare by optimum use of pharmacy patient care.”