PRINCETON, N.J. -- Pharmacists are once again the nation's most trusted professionals, according to those Americans surveyed by the Gallup Organization here.
In Gallup's annual survey of professions and occupations, pharmacists came out on top for the eighth successive time. Sixty-four percent of those polled rated the honesty and ethical standards of "druggists/ pharmacists" as "very high" or "high."
"We're pleased that, once again, the Gallup Poll results confirm that the community pharmacist is the most trusted professional in the eyes of the American public," said Dennis Ludwig, president of the National Community Pharmacists Association (formerly NARD), based in Alexandria, Va. In the poll, pharmacists placed ahead of clergy, college teachers, medical doctors and dentists, the next highest-ranked professions (in descending order).
The Gallup Poll asked more than 800 adults to rate the honesty and ethical standards of 26 different occupations as "very high," "high," "average," "low," "very low" and "no opinion." The survey was conducted Dec. 9 to 11, 1996.
"Our continuing No. 1 performance in this poll clearly demonstrates that community pharmacists are doing a first-rate job," said Ludwig, who is a pharmacist in Boulder, Colo. "Patients continue to affirm their trust in the care we provide by returning to our pharmacies and relying on our health-care expertise."
"It's very complimentary and it provides reassurance that we are making an impact," said Vern Shaffer, pharmacy manager for Bi-Lo Foods & Pharmacy, Sandy Plaza, DuBois, Pa. "I know people in our profession are very proud when we come out on top."
"With more than 6 million prescriptions dispensed daily in the nation's retail community pharmacies, pharmacists have tremendous contact with the public and demonstrate their value in dispensing more than medicines," said Ronald L. Ziegler, president and chief executive officer of the Alexandria, Va.-based National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
"As one of the most accessible health-care professionals available to the public, the community pharmacist plays an important role in counselling patients on the safe use of their prescriptions and over-the-counter medications."
In another survey measuring the degree of useful written information on prescriptions, 83% of respondents who had filled a prescription in the last six months said they received written information that was useful in helping them understand how to take their medication.