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NACDS awards Costco’s Burnett, S-P’s Barshay

BY Jim Frederick

PALM BEACH, Fla. —Two highly regarded veterans of the retail and supplier sides of chain pharmacy retailing were awarded the chain pharmacy industry’s highest honors at the finale of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Annual Meeting.

In a brief but emotional ceremony on stage at The Breakers, more than 1,000 NACDS members, associate members and guests paid homage as newly installed NACDS chairman and CVS/pharmacy president Larry Merlo presented the Sheldon W. Fantle Lifetime Achievement Award to Charles “Charlie” Burnett, SVP pharmacy of Costco. The Robert B. Begley Award went to Stanley Barshay, former chairman of Schering-Plough Consumer HealthCare Products.

Burnett, a U.S. military veteran and pharmacy leader since the 1950s, has carved out a distinguished career as a pharmacy pioneer, beginning with stints at FedMart and Save Mart Supermarkets prior to joining Costco in the mid-1980s. Making surprise appearances at the awards presentation were several top Costco executives, including company founder and CEO Jim Sinegal, who credited Burnett with making possible the development of Costco’s pharmacy from its fledgling beginnings to its current status as an innovative pharmacy powerhouse of more than 400 locations across the United States. Burnett is the only individual to receive both the NACDS Harold W. Pratt Award and the Fantle Award.

Begley Award recipient Barshay has been a key decision-maker in the consumer products industry since the mid-1970s. He was cited for “qualities of great personal warmth, generous spirit and longtime service to our industry,” Merlo noted.

“Charles Burnett and Stan Barshay always will mean a tremendous amount to their companies and to this industry, and these awards commemorate their powerful legacies,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.

The Lifetime Achievement Award, established in 1989, was renamed in 1996 in honor of the late Sheldon “Bud” Fantle of People’s Drug Stores. The Begley Award—established in 1980—is named in memory of former NACDS chairman Robert Begley.

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Retail clinics: Improved care at a lower cost

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Retail clinics. Save. Money. Without regard to who’s footing the bill exactly — healthcare payer or Jane Patient — retail clinics not only represent a significant cost savings across the board, but by siphoning nonemergency-yet-still-urgent cases out of the emergency rooms and doctors’ offices, retail clinics also can contribute to improved care across the healthcare continuum.

(THE NEWS: Study: Retail clinics save nonemergency patients money. For the full story, click here)

All told there were 119.2 million total ER visits in 2006, up 8.2% as compared with 2004, according to ACEP. Extrapolate that figure with WellPoint’s finding that 19.4% of those visits may be for nonemergencies across the entire nation, and the fuzzy math equates to an approximate 23.1 million non-emergency patients presenting across some 3,833 ERs. For whoever is paying for the cost of care, that’s an expenditure totaling $10.2 billion if every case were to present at an ER; as compared to $1.2 billion if every case were to present at a retail clinic. That’s the cost savings piece.

But cost savings aren’t the only benefit retail clinics afford the overall healthcare system —  there’s a general improvement in care. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, average waiting times for patients triaged with non-emergency ailments at emergency departments range between one and two hours, but only when the ER isn’t crowded. That’s like saying that bee stings don’t hurt, you know, except when they do.

Let’s face it, in a nation of 309 million and counting, there are simply not enough points of care, be it for an emergency or nonemergency situation. Taking nonemergency visits out of emergency rooms would likely improve the efficiency of care for more critical patients, as well as the experience of care for noncritical patients. That’s the improved care piece.

Improved care at a lower cost, that’s what retail clinics bring to the table.

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Tide brings Loads of Hope to Dollar General

BY Allison Cerra

NASHVILLE Tide brought its mobile laundromat to a local Dollar General to benefit victims of the recent floods.

Tide’s Loads of Hope program visited a Nashville Dollar General May 12 to provide customers in the area with clean laundry. One truck and a fleet of vans house more than 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers that are capable of cleaning over 300 loads of laundry every day. Tide washs, dries and folds the clothes for these families for free.

The Loads of Hope program also benefited victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, in addition to other natural disasters.

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