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Executive Summary

APhA hopes to complete its selection process for a new president by early June, the chairman of the association's presidential search committee, Phillip Gerbino, reported at an April 11 media briefing at the American Pharmacetical Association annual meeting in Anaheim. All applications for the top position have been received and interviews with the candidates should begin by mid-May, Gerbino said. The association is looking to fill its top spot vacated by the March 6 resignation of Jack Schlegel on after five years at that job. APhA Chairman David Cobb has assumed the interim responsibilities of president. APhA has said it will not reveal the names of the candidates until a final selection has been made. However, possible candidates for the position include outgoing HHS Undersecretary Donald Newman, Texas Pharmaceutical Association Executive Director Luther Parker, former FDA Commissioner Jere Goyan, now with the University of California School of Pharmacy, and PMA's Maurice Bectel. Newman may be the frontrunner because he fills the bill in two important areas for the APhA Board of Trustees -- he has both political and pharmacy experience. In addition to his Washington experience, where he worked on the Catastrophic Health Care legislation, Newman has operated two pharmacies in Indiana. Parker has strength as a long-time leader in APhA. Later this year APhA is planning a major public relations push, Chairman David Cobb told reporters. He declined to disclose any details about the campaign. APhA has scheduled the launch of the public relations program, which will include a consumer program, for September. Cobb noted APhA has added a full-time public affairs professional to the association's staff, which has resulted in more pharmacy mentions in the electronic and print media. APhAPAC, Cobb said, has moved into "the top 15% of national PACs in the country in terms of money contributed to it." APhA's long term strategy to deal with significant changes in the delivery and financing of healthcare, the American Pharmaceutical Institute, has also undergone a change in leadership -- former HHS Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation Robert Helms succeeded Michael Pollard on April 1. Despite the transition, Gerbino commented, the association's plans for the institute are on track under the guidance of Helms. Realistically, Gerbino said, it may take four to seven years before the institute has an impact on pharmacy.

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