January 29, 2014
Pharmacists Remain Among Highest Regarded Professions for Ethics, Honesty

Washington, D.C.—Pharmacists remain near the top of the list when it comes to high levels of honesty and ethics, according to the latest Gallup poll on the topic.

In the poll conducted December 5-8, 2013, 70% of respondents rated pharmacists either “high” or “very high” on honesty and ethical standards. The percentage dropped slightly from last year’s all time high of 75%.

Nurses have ranked number one every year since 1999, when the poll first asked about them, with the exception of 2001 when firefighters were listed on a one-time basis because of their heroic role on 9-11-2001. Since 2005, more than 80% of Americans have rated nurses as having "high" or "very high" honesty and ethical standards. Grade school teachers came in third, nearly tied with pharmacists. Medical doctors came in fourth, with a 69% rating.

The Gallup poll has asked Americans to rate the honesty and ethical standards of members of various professions periodically since 1976, and annually since 1990. The lowest ranked professions in this year’s poll were lobbyists, members of Congress, and automobile sales staff. Also, for the first time this year, the rating for clergy dropped below 50% to 47%. In 1985, clergy had ranked near the top of the list with 67% rating their honesty and ethics highly.

Gallup poll administrators note that professionals considered to be in the “healing” professions—such as nurses, pharmacists, and doctors—tend to rank higher.

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,031 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

The National Community Pharmacists Association applauded the results.

“The combination of their goodwill with consumers, extensive training, medication expertise and easy accessibility has pharmacists perfectly positioned to play a larger role in the U.S. health care system,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. “Emerging new care models such as accountable care organizations should fully integrate pharmacists. In addition, policymakers and plan sponsors should better utilize pharmacists’ public standing and knowledge to improve health outcomes and reduce costs, such as through the provision of medication adherence services and medication therapy management.”

U.S. Pharmacist Social Connect