/publications/issue/2007/2007-03/2007-03-6373

nacds SPEAKS OUT: Raising the Profile of Community Pharmacy

Author: Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE

Greetings! As the new president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), I would like to introduce myself and share some of my thoughts on chain pharmacy and the evolving role of pharmacists. I was delighted to be named to this position, and I look forward to representing your industry.

Community pharmacy is the foundation of the American economy—chain pharmacies operate >38,000 pharmacies in this country, employ 112,000 pharmacists, fill >2.3 billion prescriptions yearly, and have annual sales of nearly $700 billion.

Retail pharmacy is a cornerstone of career opportunity, as represented by you, the readership of Pharmacy Times. The pharmacy is also a cornerstone of the local community. Nobody is closer to the American people, in terms of their health care, than their community pharmacist. I look forward to working with all aspects of the industry and the NACDS membership to promote, educate, and represent community pharmacy.

I hail from a small town in Illinois, where my father was a factory worker and custodian and my mother a nurse. I attended Cornell College in Iowa, and in 1975 I came to Washington, DC, to work for Congressman John B. Anderson (no relation). I became a senior staff member, and when he ran for president in 1980, I unsuccessfully ran for his congressional seat.

I then took an executive position at the American Frozen Food Institute, where I worked for 20 years, the final 10 years as president and chief executive officer.

In 1999, I took over as chief executive officer of the National Restaurant Association, what I like to call "the real NRA." During my 8 years at the NRA, membership grew by 73%, we built a $2-million political action committee, and our revenues increased from $43 million to $53 million. Our revenues over expenses for 7 fiscal years were $21 million. I will make sure that NACDS is just as successful in running its finances and being good stewards of the resources given to us by our NACDS member companies.

At both associations, I implemented a new model of association leadership that focused on government affairs and media outreach. We became successful by focusing on lobbying, research, and communications. I have learned that a successful association must be successful in communicating with its target audiences, whether it is pharmacists like you, the American people, members of the media, lawmakers, or regulators at the state and federal levels.

As I step into my new role at NACDS, I look forward to working on your behalf as we move community pharmacy forward and make our voice heard on issues that are of vital importance to this industry.

Mr. Anderson assumed the position of president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores on February 23, 2007.