SEPTEMBER 01, 2007
Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE

COULD IT BE THAT JACK E. FINCHAM, PhD, has fired a shot heard around pharmacy and around the world?

In a recent issue of the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, the University of Missouri?Kansas City faculty member issued a challenge: ?Administrators at our universities and within our collective colleges and schools of pharmacy need to invest in the continuing viability of community pharmacy.... Our programs cannot survive academically if the community pharmacy providers within our experiential realms fail due to inadequate reimbursement from payer programs or from lack of support from our colleges and universities.?We could not let this bold call stop there.We bestowed on Dr. Fincham the honorary title of ?Community Pharmacy Great Communicator? and publicized his article.

His words relate directly to the work of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS). Our members include chain community pharmacies and suppliers, and we advocate on the industry?s behalf before legislators and regulators at the federal and state levels. Reimbursement from programs like Medicaid and Medicare are among our top issues.

For this important work, we are organizing an ever-broader grassroots force of pharmacists, students, company  representatives, and other allies.We need to establish the role of community pharmacy in reducing health care costs and enhancing access to health care.

More than ever before, NACDS will ask everyone in community pharmacy to write to members of Congress and state legislators, enter comments on regulatory proceedings, submit letters to the editor, and more. If we embrace Dr. Fincham?s call, elected officials will hear from this industry like never before. The results for community pharmacy and for consumers will be worth the effort.


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