Using a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek humor, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) teamed with comedian Brad Sherwood to create a series of vignettes focusing on “Behind-the-Counter (BTC) Encounters.” While the result is humorous, the more serious purpose is to recognize the important role that pharmacists play within the community.
“We know from surveys that APhA has done that two thirds of consumers don’t know their pharmacists name,” said Peter Van Pelt P’97. “That’s one thing we have been trying to improve upon, and we’ve done that with this BTC campaign. It’s really to promote the pharmacists and the patient working together.”
Left: Comedian Brad Sherwood (left) is helping Peter Van Pelt P’97 and APhA shed light on the role of pharamacists through a series of vignettes focusing on “Behind-the-Counter (BTC) Encounters.”
Van Pelt, who is the Senior Manager of Industry Relations for APhA and worked in retail pharmacy until joining the organization in 2005, has a starring role in the first two vignettes as he interacts with a myriad of Sherwood’s character portrayals. Sherwood is best known as a member of the ensemble cast of the Emmy-nominated hit TV show, “Whose Line is it Anyway?”
Whether the pharmacist serves as a trusted advisor or a translator trying to decode symptoms, their role and interactions with the patients on a daily basis is a very important component in the healthcare system.
“You never know what consumers are going to approach you with, which really makes pharmacy so interesting. Each patient is a new patient with a new mystery to solve and you work with a lot of different ‘characters,’” Van Pelt said.
The Behind-the-Counter Encounters Campaign is sponsored by McNeil Consumer Healthcare. APhA worked closely with McNeil on shedding the light on what happens every day behind the pharmacy counter and delivering the message of the pharmacists critical role.
The spots were filmed over a “very long day” in an independent Bronx, N.Y.
pharmacy. As for his future acting role, Van Pelt is just fine continuing his work behind the camera and leaving the starring roles to Sherwood.
“I was so excited when I was approached to work on this program,” Van Pelt said. “It was an opportunity to really to highlight what pharmacists were doing and encourage consumers and pharmacists to work together to create better healthcare outcomes."