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CONTACT: Valerie Briggs
Director of External Communications
Direct: (703) 838-2686
valerie.briggs@ncpanet.org

First National Community Pharmacy Bone Marrow Donor Drive A Success

Over 600 New Potentially Life-Saving Donors Are Found
During Community Pharmacy Event

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (December 28, 2009) – Community pharmacies from across the nation recruited over 600 new bone marrow donors during the first-ever National Community Pharmacy Bone Marrow Donor Drive, which was funded and organized by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Foundation in partnership with DKMS, the most experienced bone marrow donor center. The drive was hosted during National Bone Marrow Awareness Month—during the week of November 9 - November 14, 2009.

Every 5 minutes someone is diagnosed with blood cancer, and every 10 minutes blood cancer takes a precious life. Currently, only 3 out of 10 patients will receive a bone marrow transplant and about 70 percent of patients must rely on an unrelated donor for a life-saving match. This bone marrow donor drive was an important step towards recruiting bone marrow donors from all races and ethnicities to help increase the likelihood that all patients will find a life-saving donor, since these groups are underrepresented on the national bone marrow donor registry.

"We are encouraged by the results of the first-ever National Community Pharmacy Bone Marrow Donor Drive," said Sharlea Leatherwood, P.D., NCPA Foundation president. "As a most accessible health care provider, community pharmacies were able to bring in 625 new, potentially life-saving donors into the DKMS system. We encourage community pharmacies to continue these efforts and to plan to organize more drives in the future."

Congratulations to the following pharmacies that recruited the most donors:

Osterhaus Pharmacy of Maquoketa, Iowa – 89 donors
Family Drug of Napa, California – 53 donors
Williamstown Pharmacy of Williamstown, West Virginia – 52 donors

"DKMS is incredibly grateful to the NCPA Foundation and its community pharmacy members for spearheading this life-saving campaign. Community pharmacies all over the country have given hope to thousands of patients battling blood cancers, desperately searching for compatible bone marrow donors. We could not do our work without the kindness of volunteers. DKMS looks forward to working with NCPA members in the future to recruit more life-savers!" said Amanda Nable, MSW, DKMS Donor Recruitment Coordinator.

Online promotional materials developed by the NCPA Foundation for pharmacies to advertise their bone marrow donor drives will continue to be available all throughout the year at www.ncpafoundation.org

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1953 to honor former NARD Executive Secretary John W. Dargavel. Contributions to the NCPA Foundation are tax-deductible as charitable donations to the extent permitted under federal tax law. The NCPA Foundation supports the growth and advancement of independent community pharmacy through low-interest educational loans and scholarships to pharmacy students, critical research and programs to improve the success of independent pharmacy, community service programs, and financial assistance to community pharmacy owners for their recovery in the event of disaster, accidents, illness, or adverse circumstances. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.ncpafoundation.org.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) represents the nation's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 pharmacies. The nation's independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises, and independent chains represent an $84 billion marketplace, employ over 300,000 employees and dispense nearly half of the nation's retail prescription medicines. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org.

The DKMS mission is to save lives by recruiting bone marrow donors for leukemia patients. More than 18,000 DKMS donors have helped save lives by donating their bone marrow. DKMS is the largest and most experienced bone marrow donor center in the world with close to 2 million registered donors. DKMS Americas is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information about DKMS and to learn more about registering as a bone marrow donor, please visit www.dkmsamericas.org

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Valerie Briggs
Director, External Communications and Marketing Outreach
National Community Pharmacists Association
100 Daingerfield Road
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-838-2686
valerie.briggs@ncpanet.org
www.ncpanet.org