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Fauci lauds pharmacy’s role in community care

Dr. Anthony Fauci took to the NACDS stage to drive home the ongoing importance of pharmacy’s role in public health.
Julianne Mobilian
Managing Editor
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Dr. Anthony Fauci addressed a packed crowd at the 2023 NACDS Annual meeting at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla., to discuss the past, present and future critical roles of retail pharmacy, particularly at the community level.

He said pharmacy and public health are intertwined, and pharmacy’s role in treating and preventing illnesses that pose significant risks to public health—especially diseases like HIV/AIDS, ebola and COVID-19—are of profound importance.

Reflecting on his prodigious career in the public health sector, Fauci recounted working at his father’s drug store, Fauci Pharmacy, as a young boy in Brooklyn, New York. Back then, drug stores and pharmacists served as “pro-bono” physicians for those who needed care, he said. In 2023, the pharmacy’s role as a community health hub has not diminished—it’s expanded.

Dr. Anthony Fauci

The need for retail pharmacies is even greater today, as they have long served as points to accessible avenues to healthcare. This is especially important considering the role of pharmacies during the onset of the pandemic in 2020.

“Every major challenge brings an opportunity,” he said. For example, pharmacies stepped up and provided millions of Americans with masks, testing kits and vaccines. They played a vital role as an essential healthcare provider.

“Pharmacies have returned to the model of my youth in a bigger and better way, for a broader and more positive impact,” Fauci said.

Chain drug stores can provide more services and care than ever before, and they are primed to serve and protect against the next inevitable pandemic, Fauci said. The future for health care is bright, and pharmacies are only expanding their scope of care and influence in the community.