NACDS honors Charles Burnett, Stanley Barshay at annual meeting

PALM BEACH, Fla. The chain pharmacy industry bestowed its highest honors on two highly regarded industry icons at the finale of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores 2010 Annual Meeting.

Receiving the Sheldon W. Fantle Lifetime Achievement Award was Charles “Charlie” Burnett, SVP pharmacy of Costco Wholesale. Tapped for the Robert B. Begley Award was Stanley Barshay, former chairman of Schering-Plough Consumer Health Care Products.

The honors were bestowed at the final NACDS Annual Meeting dinner and awards ceremony by new NACDS chairman and CVS/pharmacy president Larry Merlo.

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 chairman Jim Sinegal, who credited Burnett with leading the development of Costco’s pharmacy from its fledgling beginnings to its current status as an innovative pharmacy powerhouse of nearly 500 locations across the United States.

Burnett, who also was joined onstage by his wife Barbara, is the only individual to receive both the NACDS Harold W. Pratt Award as well as the Fantle Award.

Begley Award recipient Barshay, whose wife Ilene was on hand for the ceremony, has been a key decision-maker in the consumer products industry since the mid-1970s. “From his work at American Home Products to his service as chairman, consumer health care products of Schering-Plough, Barshay has been a leader of consumer home and healthcare products and the prescription-to-over-the-counter product revolution,” noted NACDS in a statement.

“These two gentlemen are excellent examples of pharmacy’s growth and progress over the last 30 years,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “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.”

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. It honors an individual “who possess qualities of great personal warmth, generous spirit, and long-time service to our industry,” noted Merlo.