NACDS’ Steve Anderson honors Albert Sebok in column
Changing Directions: Honoring Albert Sebok
By Steve Anderson, NACDS president and CEO
This week, I was going to write about some really powerful articles in the November 2013 Health Affairs. They validate community pharmacy’s role in emerging healthcare models, and urge better alignment of federal and state policies to achieve pharmacy’s potential to improve and save lives. However, when I heard of the passing of a true pioneer – who did so much to help create the amazing progress and potential of community pharmacy – I had to change directions on this column.
On November 3, we lost Albert A. Sebok — whom many remember for his work at Standard Drug and then Revco. The fact is that without Albert Sebok, and others like him, community pharmacy would not be part of the healthcare conversation to the significant extent that it is today. We would not have articles like the ones in this month’s Health Affairs if we did not have the Albert Seboks of the world.
In 2010, I had the opportunity to deliver the inaugural Sebok Pharmacy Lecture at The Raabe College of Pharmacy of Ohio Northern University. The establishment of the annual event was one of several honors bestowed on Albert Sebok by his alma mater. This is some of what I said about him on that day:
We are honoring a man whose patient care and corporate career at Revco exemplified the value of pharmacy. Effective consultations and wise operational decisions, stitched together over the course of decades, create an impressive career. But Albert Sebok has accomplished even more than that. His commitment to pharmacy goes far beyond talk of a distinguished career. It also defines what it means to be part of, and to advance, one’s profession.
Albert Sebok is a man who did not just graduate from this great school and move on. He saw to it that he and this school moved on together. Over the course of 60 years, he has given back in many ways, including as an advisor and as a professor, and even as an innovator of a new course of study.
Similarly, we at NACDS are thankful for his engagement in our organization.
Albert Sebok demonstrated that associations, industries and companies derive their strength from their people. He served as chairman of the NACDS Pharmacy Affairs Committee and as chairman of the NACDS Pharmacy Conference. For these contributions among others to NACDS, and for his leadership within community pharmacy, NACDS in 1991 presented him with the prestigious Harold W. Pratt Award.
I think you will agree that changing the direction on this week’s column was the right thing to do. It is vitally important to recognize those who have changed the direction of this association, this great industry and the very nature of pharmacy patient care.
Industry veteran Albert Sebok passes away
STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — Industry veteran Albert Sebok, who held a distinguished career as a pharmacist and healthcare advocate, passed away on Nov. 3.
Following his graduation from Ohio Northern University in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy, the Cleveland native joined Standard Drug as a store manager. In 1961, Revco acquired Standard, and Sebok began his rise in store operations, which culminated with his appointment in 1971 as a SVP for store operations of Revco. Revco grew to become a discount drug chain with more than 2,000 stores and was acquired by CVS in 1997.
For more than 50 years, Sebok maintained a relationship with the Raabe College of Pharmacy and Ohio Northern. He served as an original member of ONU’s Pharmacy Advisory Board and was the founder and instructor of the college’s Contemporary Pharmacy Practice class.
During the Inaugural Sebok Pharmacy Lecture in 2010 at the Ohio Northern University Rudolph H. Raabe College of Pharmacy, National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson said, “Pharmacy will become whatever people like you envision, and its advancement will reflect the energy with which you engage. Effective consultations and wise operational decisions, stitched together over the course of decades, create an impressive career. But Albert Sebok has accomplished even more than that. His commitment to pharmacy goes far beyond talk of a distinguished career. It also defines what it means to be part of, and to advance, one’s profession.”
In 1991, Sebok was honored with the NACDS Pratt Award, which recognized his leadership in chain drug pharmacy.
He has held numerous positions in the pharmacy industry at the international, national, state and local levels. He has served on college advisory boards at the University of Texas, the University of Florida, Samford University, the University of Toledo and Ohio Northern.
In 1988, Ohio Northern honored him with an honorary doctorate in pharmacy. In addition to his honorary doctoral degree from the ONU’s college of pharmacy, Sebok was also the recipient of its Distinguished Alumni award in 2009. The University had previously presented him with Distinguished Alumni Awards in 1977 and 2001.
Sebok is the husband of the late Janet; father of Sue Navy (Dave) and Albert F. Sebok; brother of Vera Barnick; brother-in-law of Eleanor Foster; grandfather of Leighann and Lori Johnson, Matt and Hilary Navy; and uncle to Sharon Foster, Jim Barnick, and Barbara Ben-Ezra.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Ohio Northern University, School of Pharmacy, Sebok Scholarship Fund, 529 S. Main St., Ada, Ohio 45810.
New drug for hot flashes becomes available nationwide
NEW YORK — Noven Pharmaceuticals has launched a new drug for severe hot flashes nationwide, the company said.
The drug maker announced the availability of Brisdelle (paroxetine) capsules in the 7.5-mg strength, the first-ever non-hormonal drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for moderate to severe hot flashes associated with menopause.
"The availability of Brisdelle is a major medical advancement for menopausal women dealing with moderate to severe hot flashes, which can often last five years or longer in some women," Northwestern University medical professor Lauren Streicher said in a statement on behalf of Noven. "The reality is, on average, today’s women are living over a third of their lives after the start of menopause. my hope is that this new, clinically proven option will help empower women to initiate a dialogue with their healthcare providers about finding a treatment plan that is right for them."