Community pharmacists must continue to innovate, Wasson says

April 22, 2013

To reach their full potential in healthcare delivery, community pharmacists must continue to participate, innovate, and communicate through the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) for continued advancement, according to Gregory D. Wasson, chairman of the board of NACDS.

To reach their full potential in healthcare delivery, community pharmacists must continue to participate, innovate, and communicate through the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) for continued advancement, according to Gregory D. Wasson, chairman of the board of NACDS. Wasson discussed these key points at the NACDS Annual Meeting Business Program on April 21. This year marks the 80th anniversary of NACDS.

"Over the past year, I've consistently talked about the push-pull environment we're all operating in," said Wasson, president and CEO of Walgreens Co. in a prepared statement. "The simple fact is, our nation needs us to step up and advance the role of the community pharmacy in healthcare, and provide innovative, affordable, high-quality and convenient solutions to help meet our nation's healthcare needs."

Wasson reviewed important developments last year and earlier this year that illustrate the value of community pharmacy services. In 2012 the Congressional Budget Office announced that a 1% increase in prescription drug utilization would lead to an overall decrease of $1.7 billion in healthcare costs. A study released in 2013 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services indicated improvements in drug regimens and cost savings for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic pulmonary disease or congestive heart failure who received medication therapy management (MTM).

"Here are two great examples of how we're delivering on our commitment, from two government entities that have an important say in public policy related to healthcare delivery," Wasson said.

He also urged community pharmacists to continue to focus on monitoring and analyzing patient outcomes and continue to educate policymakers about the value of community pharmacy. Engagement with members of Congress through the NACDS RxIMPACT grassroots advocacy program is important to continue, he said.

Wasson suggested that community pharmacists spread the word that community pharmacy has a value "as the face of neighborhood healthcare."