NCPA Executive Update

NCPA Executive Update delivers insights on legislative, regulatory, policy, and industry developments from NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, Pharmacist, MBA, to NCPA members and pharmacy leaders every Friday.

Community pharmacists: Living, working, helping - in good times and bad | NCPA Executive Update | October 19, 2018

by NCPA | Oct 19, 2018

Dear Colleague,

Doug Hoey

A few years ago, we started surveying NCPA members about their community involvement. The inspiration for that survey was a poster I spotted while on a rare visit at a big-box store. The display featured a picture of a student to whom the store had given $5,000 for school. I think they had also taken out an ad in a local paper about their gift. No doubt that contribution was good PR for that multibillion-dollar company. But it made me think: How much do community pharmacy owners quietly give back to their communities?

So, we added it up. And it's huge.

While this is wonderful, the benefits pharmacy owners give to their communities go way beyond financial contributions. Pharmacy owners and their teams live, laugh, cry, work, go to school, worship, spend money, and pay taxes among the people who walk in and out of their pharmacy every day. They don't just parachute into the community and then parachute out. Pharmacy owners and their teams are an integral part their community. They're rooted there.

That's why when a disaster strikes, like the destruction that Hurricane Michael wreaked last week, pharmacy owners display their humanity and community commitment front and center. The panhandle of Florida and parts of Alabama and Georgia are still recovering from the storm, but if past is prologue, the same entrepreneurial creativity that drives successful pharmacy owners also helps them figure out ways to help their fellow citizens. We saw this in Joplin, Mo., when tornadoes decimated much of the city. We saw this in West Virginia when flooding knocked out roads and stranded people. We saw this with Hurricane Sandy when towns were cut off from supplies. We saw this with Hurricane Katrina where hundreds lost their lives in Louisiana and Mississippi. Just as we see pharmacy owners and their teams helping their community day-in and day-out, these same people scramble to help their friends and neighbors – their community – in times of need. Pharmacy owners put the COMMUNITY in community pharmacy.

The NCPA Foundation's Disaster Relief Program provides assistance to pharmacies that have been affected by disaster. It's a show of support and to help them cover the costs they incur that maybe insurance doesn't cover or consider. During Hurricane Katrina, the NCPA Foundation reached out to membership and raised more than $160,000 for impacted pharmacies. Every dime went to pharmacies that could use a boost in that time of need.

NCPA's community involvement survey shows that community pharmacy owners contribute more than $60 million to their communities in various ways – sponsorships of sports teams, contributions to local schools, and civic fundraisers. In fact, the 2018 NCPA Digest sponsored by Cardinal Health tells us that 68 percent of independent pharmacy owners provide monetary support to at least five or more community organizations, including 50 percent of all independent pharmacies that provide more than $4,000 to these organizations annually.

The dollars are important, but they pale in comparison to the time, sweat, and commitment made by pharmacy owners and their teams every day – and especially when their community is in need.

Doug Hoey