Skip to Main Content
Our COVID-19 ResponseLearn More

Amina Abubakar of Charlotte, North Carolina Named 2020 Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year

Known as the “Mother Theresa of Healthcare”, Abubakar Earns Award for Tireless Service to Community Health and Advancing Pharmacy Education


Amina Abubakar, PharmD
NCPA’s 2020 Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year Award Winner

Maple Grove, MN – October 19, 2020 – Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC (Upsher-Smith) is pleased to announce Amina Abubakar, PharmD, owner of Rx Clinic Pharmacy in Charlotte, North Carolina, as the winner of the 2020 National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year award. Abubakar received the award on Sunday, October 18 at NCPA’s 2020 Annual Meeting that was held virtually.

The annual award is given to a pharmacist who exhibits exemplary professional leadership, service to community and commitment to independent pharmacy. This year marks Upsher-Smith’s 12th year of sponsoring the prestigious award in conjunction with NCPA. The award is named in honor of Willard B. Simmons, a former executive secretary of NCPA (then known as the National Association of Retail Druggists) and a longtime trustee of the NCPA Foundation.

Amina Abubakar, an immigrant from Kenya, is fondly known by government officials in her community as the “Mother Theresa of Healthcare.” With her unwavering commitment to patients and desire to be more than a dispensary, Abubakar embodies the spirit of community pharmacy. She regularly hosts local health fairs that offer health screenings, immunizations and point-of-care testing and supports HIV/AIDS patients by offering educational presentations and advocating for those who are uninsured or underinsured. Abubakar’s compassion for patients doesn’t stop at the U.S. border. As a board member of Safari Doctors, a community-based organization in Lamu, Kenya, Abubakar coordinates mobile health clinics and provides medicines to marginalized communities in the region. In 2017, the Safari Doctors won the United Nations Person of the Year award for its outstanding efforts that helped people in far-reaching areas of Lamu.

Abubakar’s approach to community pharmacy is enhanced by collaborating with other healthcare providers and expanding pharmacist-led clinical services in her community. Both are demonstrated through her work as founder of Avant Instituto and as clinical director for Troy Medicare. Notably, in 2016, Abubakar was invited to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss her pharmacogenetic program which supports the Precision Medicine initiative. Abubakar’s pharmacogenetic testing program aims to mitigate adverse drug events by analyzing patients’ gene-to-drug interaction, specifically, how an individual’s genes affect both the body’s response to medications as well as the rate at which medication is metabolized and removed from the body. The program helps eliminate trial and error prescribing resulting in cost savings and health benefits.

Abubakar is also one of the national luminaries for CPESN® USA, a national network of clinically integrated pharmacies, and serves as a luminary, mentoring other pharmacy leaders for the local CPESN network in North Carolina.

“Upsher-Smith is proud to partner with NCPA in recognizing the contributions of community pharmacists who positively impact their community by partnering with patients and providers to offer innovative and effective health care,” said Rusty Field, President and CEO, Upsher-Smith. “Amina Abubakar’s passion for pharmacy and her efforts to leverage her pharmacy practice to help patients—even on a global level—demonstrate why she is the most deserving recipient of this year’s award.”

“Amina is a tireless advocate for her patients, her community, her colleagues, and the future of pharmacy,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA. “She is a deserving recipient of the Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year Award, demonstrating with her strong leadership what it means to be an independent community pharmacist. We applaud Amina’s dedication and hard work and are proud to partner with Upsher-Smith to recognize her as this year’s Independent Pharmacist of the Year.”

About Upsher-Smith

Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC is a trusted U.S. pharmaceutical company that strives to improve the health and lives of patients through an unwavering commitment to high-quality products and sustainable growth. Since 1919, it has brought generics and brands to a wide

array of customers backed by an attentive level of service, strong industry relationships, and dedication to uninterrupted supply.

As Upsher-Smith begins its second century in business, the company enters a new ambitious era that has been accelerated by its 2017 acquisition by Sawai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Upsher-Smith and Sawai plan to leverage each other for growth worldwide and embark on an exciting new chapter as they seek to deliver the best value for their stakeholders, and most importantly, Do More Good™ for the patients they serve. For more information, visit www.upsher-smith.com.

About the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®)

Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing 22,000 pharmacies that employ 250,000 individuals nationwide. Community pharmacies are rooted in the communities where they are located and are among America’s most accessible health care providers. To learn more, visit www.ncpa.org.

# # #

Do More Good is a trademark of Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC.