Industry Voices

Pharmacy Careers
Volume 0

Navigating Pharmacy Ownership: NCPA Can Help

Douglas Hoey, RPh

Mr. Hoey is acting executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Community Pharmacists Association.

Now more than ever, we believe that pharmacy students should include pharmacy ownership as a worthwhile career choice when exploring their career options. The rewards are many—you can practice the way you want to practice, you determine the work environment, and you decide the patient care services you want to offer.

If you have considered ownership, but don’t know where to start, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) is here to help. Our NCPA Ambassador Program features pharmacy owners who visit pharmacy schools to discuss the benefits of ownership and offer advice on how to navigate the process. To date, more than 200 pharmacists have become Ambassadors. They understand that quality patient care will only continue if pharmacy students are willing to explore their entrepreneurial side and become independent pharmacy owners.

NCPA’s Ownership Academy covers all aspects of the process, such as how to purchase or open a pharmacy, how to implement the best business practices, and how to eventually sell a pharmacy. The Academy also includes our popular Pharmacy Ownership Workshops. Nearly 50% of previous attendees now own their own pharmacies.

In addition, the annual Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition provides first-hand experience for you and your peers on creating a business model for buying an existing independent pharmacy or establishing a new pharmacy. This year’s finalists from Auburn University, Drake University, and Washington State University will compete in a live competition at the NCPA Annual Convention and Trade Exposition being held from October 23 to 27 in Philadelphia.

If you are considering a future in pharmacy ownership, know that you are not alone. Visit www. to learn more about owning a pharmacy. It’s a small investment of your time for what can be a very profitable and exciting future. To schedule an Ambassador visit to your School or College of Pharmacy, please e-mail us at

NACDS: Energizing the Next Generation of PharmacySteven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE

Mr. Anderson is president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

When the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) launched its grass-roots advocacy program—NACDS RxIMPACT—2 years ago, we knew it would be a valuable resource for pharmacy advocates. What we could not have predicted was how wildly successful the program would be for the next generation of pharmacy—pharmacy students.

The purpose of NACDS RxIMPACT is to engage pharmacy advocates to become more involved in public policy on behalf of pharmacy. One of the programs within RxIMPACT is the Day on Capitol Hill, when advocates meet with their members of Congress in Washington, DC.

Pharmacy students took this event by storm in March 2010. More than 50 pharmacy students from 16 schools met with lawmakers in Washington, DC, to voice their opinions about the role of pharmacy in the health care delivery system. They brought more than numbers.

They brought tremendous energy that was contagious and inspirational to other attendees, including those who have been involved in the pharmacy profession for several decades. This was apparent during the opening session of the event, when Rep. Marion Berry (D-AR), the only licensed pharmacist in Congress, offered a keynote address. He made an impassioned call for pharmacy to engage in public policy, a message which resonated with the students.

Seeing the passion of the students further motivated other attendees to approach their meetings with lawmakers with a renewed sense of purpose. One student from the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy said it best: “I emerged extremely energized and motivated to spread my enthusiasm.”

Energy and motivation are keys to engaging others to get involved. NACDS stands ready to engage students’ passion for pharmacy, either on campus or on Capitol Hill. Your participation and advocacy will help determine the future of the pharmacy profession.

As the North Carolina student quote so eloquently states, “get energized” and “get motivated.” There’s no better time to do so than at the 2011 RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill, scheduled for March 9 and 10, 2011. Let’s exceed all expectations again! ●

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