BOCA RATION, Fla., and ALEXANDRIA, Va. Two national groups serving independent and small-chain pharmacy owners said Thursday they’re forging new, closer links with each other in a long-term collaborative effort.
The goal, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association and the Chain Drug Consortium, will be “to better leverage the strengths of each organization in order to more effectively advance the interests of community pharmacists and their patients.” The expanded partnership will seek to merge NCPA’s clout as a pharmacy advocate, lobbying powerhouse and business organization with CDC’s prowess as a purchasing and marketing organization -- and bring those combined strengths to the members of both groups.
“Realizing that many of our CDC members are also NCPA members, it makes sense that CDC work closely with the leadership of NCPA to address the many challenges that face community pharmacy today,” said Edward Frisch, CDC president and CEO.
Added NCPA president and Texas pharmacy owner Joseph Harmison, “Working together, our combined efforts will produce new synergy and unity to promote the voice of community pharmacies, be they single stores or family-run chains.”
The closer alliance between the two groups should bolster membership in NCPA, according to the organization, and could add new muscle to such programs as NCPA’s Legislative Defense Fund. “This, in turn, would allow NCPA to implement more effective advocacy programs to better support community pharmacies,” noted both groups in a joint statement. “CDC leadership has already begun appealing to its members in writing and at industry gatherings to join NCPA, donate to the LDF and, if an NCPA member, to contribute to NCPA's political action committee.”
Chain Drug Consortium provides its retail members with programs, services and buying power “to help family-owned and other privately held community pharmacy chains compete with national mega-chains and mail-order pharmacies backed by Wall Street,” the group asserted Thursday. Its members include many regional drug chains, including Bartell Drugs, Discount Drug Mart, Drug Emporium WV, Farmacias El Amal, Farmacias Carol, Hartig Drug, Hi-School Pharmacy, Kerr Drug, Kinney Drugs, La Colonia, Lewis Drug, Lifechek, Navarro Discount Pharmacies, Osborn Drugs, Pamida, Shopko, Thrifty White Pharmacy and USA Drug.