Lowell Anderson earned his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Minnesota in 1962. While in private practice for most of his career, he remained highly active in the University’s College of Pharmacy, serving on many committees and as advisor to the dean from 1994 to 1997. After leaving private practice in 2006, he took on larger roles in the College and University, serving as co-director of the Center for Health Care Change since 2008, an adjunct professor in the College of Pharmacy since 2009, and manager of the UPlan MTM network for the University’s employee health plan since 2009.
Lowell Anderson begins his interview with a reflection on his early life and education, highlighting his experience earning a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Minnesota. He describes the profession’s receptiveness to female pharmacists, his recollections of the Kefauver Hearings regarding prescription drug pricing in the early 1960s, and the impact of managed care on pharmacy. He goes on to discuss his professional goals; his time at Walgreen’s as a pharmacy student; his early career, including time at Northwestern Hospital and the State Department of Administration; and his experience of ownership of pharmacies in Falcon Heights (1966) and White Bear Lake. Within this discussion, he reflects on how relationships between health care professionals and pharmacists change in different venues, the differences between a chain pharmacy and a privately owned pharmacy, building community relationships, generic substitution, the patient package insert, patient expectations regarding drug advice from doctors and pharmacists, the function of Pharmacy Benefit Managers. The conversation then transitions to the Academic Health Center and Mr. Anderson’s contributions to the College of Pharmacy. The following topics are discussed: the introduction of clinical pharmacy in the College; relations between basic scientists and professional pharmacists in the College; relations among schools and colleges in the AHC; the potential creation of the Pharmacy Technician Program; the threatened shortage of pharmacists; the creation of the Department of Social and Administrative Pharmacy; the development of pharmaceutical care practice; and the Center for Leading Healthcare Change. He concludes his interview with current policy issues in which pharmacists should adopt a larger role.
Lowell Anderson was born in Hoodsport, Washington. His family moved several times, but he spent most of his early life in East Tennessee. He earned his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Minnesota in 1962. He was President of Watauga Corp, which operated Falcon Heights Pharmacy and Medical Supply (1966-1996) and Bel-Aire Pharmacy, a community based health center in White Bear Lake, MN (1981-2006). He left private practice in 2006. Throughout his career, he has been highly active in professional organizations and served as president of the American Pharmacists Association, the Minnesota Pharmacists Association, and the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy. He has also served as an industry advisor, on several boards of directors, and on national steering committees. In 1995, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Sciences for his local, national, and international efforts. While in private practice, Anderson continued to play an active role in the University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy. He was named advisor to the dean from 1994 to 1997 and participated in many committees from the 1980s through the 2000s concerning planning, evaluation, and curriculum development. Anderson has served as co-director of the Center for Health Care Change since 2008, an adjunct professor in the College of Pharmacy since 2009, and manager of the UPlan MTM network for the University’s employee health plan since 2009.