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Total Store Expo begins with clear message: Rx industry owns NACDS’ 90-year legacy

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Anderson announces new partnership

Total Store Expo begins with clear message: Rx industry owns NACDS’  90-year legacy

SAN DIEGO — National Association of Chain Drug Stores chair Mike Wysong,  and president and CEO Steve Anderson, Sunday welcomed member retailers and suppliers to the NACDS Total Store Expo — the third conference in 2023 celebrating the association’s 90th anniversary year.

Speaking at Sunday’s Business Program, Wysong and Anderson delivered a clear message: The pharmacy industry owns this nine-decade legacy, and through NACDS, it has a unique opportunity to advance it.

Mike Wysong

Mike Wysong

Wysong, CEO  of CARE Pharmacies, thanked chain and supplier members for coming together to commemorate the anniversary, celebrate 10 years of the expo and create new firsts that shape the future. “The NACDS Total Store Expo continues to reimagine ‘what could be’ and to foster innovation by bringing together the right people, at the right time, in the right setting,” he said.

Anderson echoed Wysong’s thoughts, emphasizing the moment that exists now for the industry and for the nation — and NACDS’ place in it. “For an association that prides itself on representing ‘the face of neighborhood healthcare,’ these are exciting times,” he said . “These are times of rapid progress for all facets of the industry: pharmacy, health and wellness, consumer goods, the supply chain, technology and beyond.”

Anderson continued by describing the association’s consistent purpose since its inception in 1933, driven by a “passion for pharmacy and for retail, the relationship between retailer and supplier” and the “industry’s collective bond with the American consumer.”

He noted that Nate Shapero, the second volunteer president of NACDS in 1939, characterized this purpose with a motto: the “Triumph of Cooperation.” Shapero defined NACDS from the start as “an effective instrument for the development of a sound relationship between the manufacturer, the producer, the chain store and between ourselves and the public.”

Wysong and Anderson described what NACDS and the Triumph of Cooperation looks like today — three and a half years after the COVID-19 pandemic. “The pandemic has come and gone and there is a heightened sense of awareness of pharmacies’ growing capacity and capabilities …,” said Wysong. “[At the NACDS Annual Meeting,] I talked about our industry being full of great artists. Artists who share a common set of values, and whose paintings differ provider by provider, but who’s spoken and understood expressions are remarkably coherent.”

He explained that the pharmacy industry — and its passionate “artists” — are making tremendous progress on NACDS policy priorities that are essential to Americans and to the pharmacies on which they rely. Importantly, they are achieving this progress together through NACDS, and thanks to the Triumph of Cooperation.

Specifically, NACDS — through the leadership and engagement of the  membership — continues to build on priority issues and focus areas, including:

• Sustaining the all-levels and all-branches of government pursuit of real and comprehensive pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) reform and direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fee reform.

• Addressing the systemic issues threatening patients’ health and wellness – particularly chronic disease and diet-related disease – through the member-driven NACDS 2023 initiative for health and wellness, and through strategies that include the acceleration of health data and technology and partnerships in healthcare.

• Urging states to use the time provided by the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) extension to safeguard patient access by making permanent all of the policies that empowered patients’ pharmacy access during the pandemic.

• Maintaining Americans’ post-pandemic access to critical pharmacy-based services by passing the bipartisan Equitable Community Access to Pharmacist Services Act (H.R. 1770/S. 2477).

• Recruiting continued active engagement in NACDS’ industry-leading meetings, conferences, and grassroots advocacy programs.

Anderson made special mention of NACDS 2023  — which is about the future of the association and of the industry, both retailers and suppliers. Notably, the effort is all about pharmacy transformation, health and wellness solutions throughout the store and partnerships with NACDS members and others in healthcare.

“Today, we have news of an exciting partnership,” he said. “NACDS, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the Food Is Medicine Institute at Tufts University are collaborating on an unprecedented public health education campaign, with the tagline: ‘Nourish My
Health.’ What a great lead-in to a total-store and total-person approach. And what a great example of that Triumph of Cooperation through NACDS that features the value of pharmacy; the collaboration of retailers and suppliers; and the bond with the American public.”

Wysong concluded by detailing a series of events in which he engaged between the Annual Meeting in April and Total Store Expo that promote collaboration with organizations in the advancement of NACDS’ policy priorities.  “At the end of the NACDS Annual Meeting,” he said, “I issued a rally cry to our artists to collaborate in new and innovative ways, and to begin that collaboration now. You responded, and we have been busy painting new pictures of what could be together since that time.”


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