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NCPA Advocacy Center unites pharmacists, patients
April 21st, 2011
Leading the Advocacy Center is John Coster, who is rejoining NCPA as senior VP of government affairs.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association has created the NCPA Advocacy Center, which aims to bring together all of the association's advocacy functions on behalf of community pharmacists and their patients.
NCPA said Wednesday that the Advocacy Center will unite the association's government affairs, grassroots, pharmacy benefit manager transparency, professional affairs and public affairs programs to enhance its advocacy efforts and optimize their impact.
Leading the new initiative is John Coster, who has been appointed as head of the NCPA Advocacy Center and as senior vice president of government affairs. Most recently, Coster led government affairs for the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA). Before that, he served as NCPA's senior vice president government affairs during enactment of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
"We're excited about the synergy NCPA's Advocacy Center will provide on behalf of community pharmacists and their patients," NCPA president Robert Greenwood said in a statement. "Community pharmacists are well-positioned to play an even greater role in America's health care system through expert medication counseling, improving patient medication adherence and other cost-saving services. I look forward to seeing this team successfully take that case to policymakers, private- and public-sector health plans, pharmacy stakeholders and patients."
Previously, Coster also has served as vice president of federal affairs and public policy for Rite Aid Corp. and as vice president of policy and programs for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. He has also worked for former Sen. David Pryor (D., Ark.) on the staff of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. Coster has worked in a community pharmacy and is a licensed pharmacist in New York, Maryland and Virginia.
"As a pharmacist, Capitol Hill veteran and proven advocate for pharmacies and patients, John Coster is ideally suited to lead both this effort and NCPA's government affairs department," stated NCPA executive vice president and chief executive officer Douglas Hoey. "From implementation of the health care law to state budget shortfalls, there is no shortage of challenges facing community pharmacy."
NCPA said that key elements of the Advocacy Center include its PBM Transparency Initiative and Long-Term Care Division, both started last year.