Pharmacy Times

Pharmacies: The Face of Neighborhood Health Care

Author: Chrissy Kopple

Ms. Kopple is the vice president of media relations at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores in Alexandria, Virginia.

Following the elections this fall, health care will be a critical challenge for the new president, as well as a new Congress to undertake. Rising health care costs, improving access to quality and affordable health care, and an overall sense that health care has been on the back burner for far too long, provide us with a critical opportunity to bring these issues to the forefront and make necessary reforms. We need advocates in our industry to help impact reform by bringing these messages to the policy and decision makers.

Today, retail pharmacies can be found on nearly every corner across the nation, and their pharmacists fill approximately 3.4 billion prescriptions annually. These pharmacies, however, also play a critical role in providing patient care that can help reduce long-term health care costs. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS)—representing its members who serve as the face of neighborhood health care—launched its new Principles of Healthcare Reform earlier this year to help define the industry's priorities.

With transitions in government, the elevation of health care as a dominant issue, and the need to confront systemic challenges, the Principles provide an important framework as we seek to heighten awareness of our key issues. NACDS is confident in pharmacy's ability to help improve the accessibility, affordability, and quality of patient care and supports the following principles of health care reform:

Health care reform will present pharmacists with the unique opportunity to build upon their current responsibilities and extend their role as an essential health care provider. We invite you to explore more about NACDS' Principles of Healthcare Reform ( and use them to advocate why pharmacies are the face of neighborhood health care.