Charles Burnett receives
in the news
pharmacy’s highest honor
DURING THE CLOSING dinner of the
National Association of Chain Drug Stores
(NACDS) Pharmacy and Technology Conference last August, Charles Burnett, senior vice
president of pharmacy for Costco, was presented with the Harold W. Pratt Award.
The annual award, established in 1985 by
the NACDS board of directors, recognizes
individuals who have contributed significantly
to the advancement of community pharmacy,
either directly through pharmacy operations
or through supporting the advancement of
community pharmacy. It is considered pharmacy’s highest honor.
Burnett began his career in pharmacy in
1955. He graduated from the University of
Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy
and, after working for several independent and
hospital pharmacies, accepted a position at
He worked his way up within the company, eventually becoming vice president
and general manager of pharmacy at Fed-Mart, and built Fed-Mart’s pharmacy business into a 75-unit, high-volume chain that
pioneered value-priced pharmaceuticals.
In 1986, Costco sought out Burnett and his
extensive background to develop a pharmacy
division for its wholesale operation—which
would become the first pharmacy in the entire
Today, the division he helped to create
operates more than 430 pharmacies in the
United States, Canada and Mexico.
Burnett’s contributions do not stop at his
career. He and his wife, Barbara Burnett,
founded the Northwest Academy for Exceptional Children. This nonprofit organization
was created to develop and sustain an appropriate educational, residential and lifelong
community setting for individuals with
autism and other developmental disabilities.
“I was shocked and flattered to receive this
award,” says Charles. “There are so many outstanding individuals in this industry that are
deserving of recognition. I can only attribute
my success to the talented people that work
with me and the environment for growth and
success that the Costco culture provides for
“It is individuals like Burnett that give the
field of pharmacy a sterling reputation in communities throughout the nation,” says NACDS
president and chief executive officer Steven C.
Charles Burnett, senior vice president
of pharmacy for Costco, speaks at the
NACDS conference after receiving the
Harold W. Pratt Award for his contributions to the pharmacy business.
Anderson. “His intellect, drive and compassion
are to be commended. This award acknowledges only a small portion of what this distinguished individual has accomplished. We are
extremely fortunate to have such a man of his
character in our business.”—T. Foster Jones
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