NACDS Launches Campaign to Expand Role in Healthcare Debate

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Washington, D.C. ads highlight: “ Pharmacies. The Face of Neighborhood Healthcare.”

We will need your participation to achieve success on your behalf in Washington. As we tell the story of the face of neighborhood health care, you are the face that matters most to your elected officials.

Pharmacy is vital to healthcare quality, affordability and accessibility, and should be valued and utilized more completely. That is the message of a major advertising campaign launched today by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) as part of its increasingly proactive outreach to policymakers to tell the story of its members.

NACDS President and Chief Executive Officer Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, unveiled the ads at the annual NACDS Regional Chain Conference. The ads feature the tagline: “Pharmacies. The face of neighborhood healthcare.” They support that theme with messages about pharmacies and pharmacists, including convenience, accessibility, expertise, prevention of drug interactions, and counseling patients to take their medications as prescribed.

A coordinated advertising and public relations plan will target Capitol Hill, the Executive Branch, the media, and opinion leaders “inside the Beltway” of Washington, D.C. The ads will begin to appear in March in local publications, in transit settings with high commuter visibility, on drive time radio and online.

“Today, we are announcing a major campaign to tell our story like never before,” Anderson said. “We are turning up the volume on this central message: Pharmacies are essential to healthcare.”

While pharmacists and pharmacies already enjoy a positive image, Anderson said this goodwill does not translate consistently into appropriate treatment in healthcare policy. He said pharmacy could be utilized more effectively to address issues of concern, including the estimated $177 billion in annual direct and indirect costs that result from failure to take prescription drugs as prescribed.    

Anderson continued, “I believe we are even better equipped, and better focused, to tell the true story of this industry, and to turn this testament into results for your businesses, for the patients and consumers you serve, and for the good of the nation.”

The Regional Chain Conference presented a unique opportunity to launch the campaign. Regional chain drug stores are a critical component of NACDS’ membership, which includes traditional chain drug stores, supermarkets and mass merchants, as well as associate members.

In addition to the launch of the image campaign, Anderson discussed NACDS’ accomplishments of 2007, as well as goals and challenges for this year. Pharmacy achieved a series of victories in 2007, and the industry made significant progress on key issues. But, as Anderson noted, many more challenges lay ahead.

The remarks about the Association’s progress in 2007 and bold approach for 2008 and beyond came at a pivotal time -– the same day that the White House released its 2009 budget proposal and one day before the Super Tuesday presidential primaries and caucuses. Anderson noted this timing is symbolic of NACDS’ commitment to advocate now and into the future for adequate compensation for pharmacy services and for opportunities to help enhance patient-centric healthcare.

Concluding his remarks, Anderson thanked attendees for their grassroots advocacy on several issues in 2007, including efforts to block pending Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement cuts that would reimburse pharmacies at less than cost for generic drugs. He called on attendees to play an increasingly active role as advocates on issues that impact the industry.

“We will need your participation to achieve success on your behalf in Washington. As we tell the story of the face of neighborhood health care, you are the face that matters most to your elected officials.”

To view sample advertisements from the NACDS image campaign, click here.

To view the transcript of Anderson's speech, click here.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) represents the nation’s leading retail chain pharmacies and suppliers, helping them better meet the changing needs of their patients and customers. Chain pharmacies operate more than 39,000 pharmacies, employ 114,000 pharmacists, fill more than 2.4 billion prescriptions yearly, and have annual sales of over $700 billion. Other members include 1,010 suppliers of products and services to the chain drug industry. NACDS international membership includes 101 members from 29 countries. For more information about NACDS, visit http://www.nacds.org.

Contact:
Chrissy Kopple
(703) 837-4266

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