BOSTON — In terms of health policy, the pharmacy business must do a better job of communicating its story to Washington, said Steven Anderson, president and chief executive officer, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Alexandria, Va., as he addressed the group’s Pharmacy & Technology Conference for the first time here yesterday. Pharmacists, he said, are generally untrained in the area of public policy and this needs to be corrected for the industry to move forward. “Schools of pharmacy must prepare students to understand health policy and advocate on behalf of pharmacy,” he said. Referring to the various setbacks pharmacy has experienced in recent years, he commented, “You paid the price time and again when better organized associations and coalitions had better success when it came to legislation, regulation and rule-making in government.” Since then, NACDS has been making “great strides” in building new coalitions within the pharmacy industry, including work with the National Community Pharmacists Association, Alexandria, and the Food Marketing Institute, Arlington, Va. “I have no doubt that if we do our job right, the American people are going to be with us rather than against us, and that’s how you begin to effect change. We in community pharmacy will never earn the influence we need or the respect we deserve if we don’t do a better job of telling out story,” Anderson said.
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