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BOSTON - The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) yesterday recognized Costco s.v.p. of pharmacy Charles Burnett with the association's highest honor, the Harold W. Pratt Award, during a ceremony at its Pharmacy Technology Conference here.
This annual honor, established in 1985 by the NACDS board of directors, recognizes and honors individuals who have contributed significantly to the advancement of community pharmacy, either directly through pharmacy operations, or through supporting the advancement of community pharmacy, the trade group said.
"It is individuals like Burnett that give the field of pharmacy a sterling reputation in communities throughout the nation," said NACDS president and c.e.o. Steven C. Anderson.
Burnett, a former U.S. Navy Corpsman who graduated first in his class at the Naval Hospital Corps School in San Diego, began his career in pharmacy after being honorably discharged in 1955. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.S. in pharmacy and, after working for several independent and hospital pharmacies, he accepted a position at Fed Mart Corp.
Beginning as a staff pharmacist, he climbed the corporate ladder to pharmacy manager and eventually regional supervisor. While he worked his way up in the company, he also pursued a law degree, which he received from the University of San Diego in 1970.
After a brief stint at practicing law, Burnett became v.p. and g.m. of pharmacy at Fed Mart, building the business to a 75-unit, high-volume chain that pioneered value-priced pharmaceuticals. Burnett continued to challenge himself by opening his own independent chain, Save Mart.
In 1986, Costco sought out Burnett to develop a pharmacy division for its wholesale operation. Today, the division operates over 430 pharmacies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Burnett and his wife, Barbara, founded the Northwest Academy for Exceptional Children. This non-profit organization was created to develop and sustain an appropriate educational, residential, and lifelong community setting for individuals with Autism and other developmental disabilities.
NACDS represents retail chain pharmacies and suppliers, Chain pharmacies operate more than 38,000 pharmacies, employ 114,000 pharmacists, fill more than 2.3 billion prescriptions yearly, and have annual sales of nearly $700 billion. Other members include almost 1,000 suppliers of products and services to the chain drug industry.