While Big Pharma’s reputation has slid following its pandemic peak, consumers appear to be putting most of their trust in pharmacists, according to a recent report. 

Eighty-three percent of consumers surveyed by Outcomes Operating said they placed a moderately high to very high level of trust in their pharmacists’ decision-making when it comes to their medications and treatment regimen.

In addition, consumers are eager to see pharmacists take on bigger roles in their care journey. Eighty-six percent of respondents said they’re open to seeing new clinical services in pharmacies beyond just typical prescription filling.

Consumers said they would be open to seeing more services in pharmacies like blood pressure measurement, telehealth consultations and the prescription of smoking cessation medications. They would also be interested in seeing at-home delivery, diabetes testing and management, mental health evaluations and vision testing.

“Pharmacies are the cornerstone of a healthcare system that delivers accessible, quality and affordable care,” noted Jude Dieterman, CEO of Outcomes, in a statement. “This survey underscores the pivotal relationship between patients and their local pharmacies and why evidence increasingly points to the need for pharmacists to work at the top of their license to align with the goals of value-based care.”

The survey, which examined some 508 adults over the age of 25, also found that consumers tend to be loyal to their community pharmacists. They went to the same pharmacy for about 6.5 years on average — longer than the average of 5.8 years they went to their primary care physician.

Despite the fact that telehealth and mail-order pharmacies have become increasingly popular since the pandemic, four out of five consumers reported relying on brick-and-mortar pharmacies for care.

Spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccinations are currently the most common clinical service being administered across pharmacies, with 69% of respondents saying they were vaccinated by a pharmacist. 

COVID-19 testing came in second, with 44% of respondents reporting getting tested at a pharmacy. 

Finally, 28% of consumers said they had gotten their blood pressure measured and 27% said they had received a personalized medication review at pharmacies.

The survey results follow a larger trend in recent years as physician burnout and lack of access has led to large swaths of Americans relying on their local pharmacies more and more to be their first point of care.

2022 study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in conjunction with Express Scripts Pharmacy predicted that pharmacists will see their roles in patient care grow in the coming years. That report found that 77% of patients said their pharmacists were an integral part of their care teams.