NCPA: New Video Tells the Independent Community Pharmacy Story

The National Community Pharmacists Association announced a new online video today that captures the value of independent community pharmacists to patients and to their local communities.

PRESS RELEASE ALEXANDRIA, Va. (June 13, 2016) The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) announced a new online video today that captures the value of independent community pharmacists to patients and to their local communities.

The video, entitled "Danny Cottrell—Independent Pharmacist and Pillar of the Community", was produced in conjunction with Live Oak Bank. It profiles Danny Cottrell, RPh, and his Medical Center Pharmacy in Brewton, Alabama to illustrate how independent community pharmacies positively impact both patient care and the fabric of their surrounding community.

"NCPA is proud to serve more than 22,000 independent community pharmacies owned and operated by caring people like Danny Cottrell," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. "This video will raise awareness so more people know that independent pharmacists care for both their patients and their communities in ways that go beyond their traditional role as health care providers. Telling this story would not have been possible without the support of Live Oak Bank. NCPA deeply appreciates its assistance making this happen."

The Brewton area is home to about 5,000 people in southern Alabama. In the video, local small business owners and patients describe the personal care that Medical Center Pharmacy provides, in contrast to a Big Box store, as well as Cottrell's service to the community. It depicts "Brewton Elementary and Me" or BEAM, an initiative he started 27 years ago to incentivize students by rewarding them with prizes for good behavior every nine weeks.

The global "Great Recession" of 2007-2009 negatively impacted Brewton's economy, too and the video describes how Cottrell helped the community through tough times. In the midst of great angst about the future, Cottrell hatched a creative idea: a one-man, $16,000 stimulus program paid out in $2 bills to his employees with two conditions: They had to spend the money locally and had to donate 15 percent to charity or someone in need. The distinctive currency showed up in small businesses across the community. The campaign garnered national attention from CNN, NBC "Nightly News" and National Public Radio and others. Cottrell was recognized as the 2009 NCPA Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year.

"It created such a buzz, that people were willing to help each other. It was kind of like a pay it forward situation," said Candy Smith, who manages a local clothing boutique. "It kind of gave us a little light of hope."

"It was something I was very glad that I did," Cottrell recalls. He adds with laugh, "Can I afford to do it again? I don't know. But it was the right thing at the right time."

The video closes by encouraging viewers to visit www.ncpanet.org and find a local independent community pharmacy. A pharmacy locator is available on that web page and NCPA recently implemented substantial improvements to enhance its search ability and user interface. The video is featured on NCPA's YouTube channel as well as on the NCPA Independent Pharmacy Today web page.

"Stories like Danny's are important to tell," said Jimmy Neil, general manager of pharmacy lending at Live Oak Bank. "These are the independent pharmacists who are truly making a difference in their communities, not just through dispensing meds but by giving back in impactful ways. Live Oak is proud to support this initiative."

"This video can help educate people of all backgrounds—consumers, policymakers, health plan sponsors and others—and differentiate independent community pharmacies from others, such as national chain pharmacies and mail order," Hoey added. "This video will have a long shelf life and we encourage all independent community pharmacists to watch and share it with their patients, local businesses, health care providers and others."