The pharmacist is in

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT Edith Rosato’s appearance on CBS affiliate WUSA-Channel 9 in Washington earlier this week -- in the midst of a massive snowstorm that kept many Washingtonians at home in front of their TV and computer screens, including, presumably, health policymakers –- was another highlight for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, where she serves as head of pharmacy affairs and the NACDS Foundation. More importantly, it was another PR coup for community pharmacy in its long campaign for recognition and a full seat at America’s healthcare table.

(THE NEW: NACDS' Rosato gives Capitol area viewers tips for keeping compliant with their meds during the blizzard. For the full story, click here)

True to form, Rosato was providing patient counseling -- on a mass scale. Her live, on-air help in answering patients’ questions about how to manage chronic disease and drug therapy may have done more to highlight the valuable role pharmacists play in accessible patient care and disease management and prevention than a dozen appearances by pharmacy leaders on Capitol Hill -- or a dozen letters to congressional leaders.

Rosato is no stranger to bench pharmacy practice and face-to-face patient counseling. Her early career included service as a pharmacy manager for both Thrift Drug and CVS [now CVS Caremark].

It’s clear, based on the increasing number of times Rosato and other articulate pharmacy leaders are turning up in widely read and viewed media in this country, that NACDS and other pharmacy groups are gaining important ground in their mammoth effort to enhance pharmacy’s position in the fractured health care system. It’s also clear that NACDS’ hiring of Steve Anderson three years ago as president and CEO was no mistake: this politically savvy, well-connected Washington insider has proven adept at getting both the organization and the community pharmacy profession itself into the spotlight, both on Capitol Hill and in the public eye. He, along with Bruce Roberts, who heads the National Community Pharmacists Association, have proven themselves as the most effective leaders to spearhead the interests of chain and independent pharmacy in many years.