This year’s National Association of Chain Drug Stores Pharmacy and Technology Conference could not be more timely, executives at the association say.

NACDS, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, NACDS Pharmacy and Technology Conference, Tom Daschle, Steve Anderson, Jim Whitman, health care reform, drug store, pharmacy, Richard Monks

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NACDS Rx Conference to shed light on pivotal issues

July 20th, 2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – This year’s National Association of Chain Drug Stores Pharmacy and Technology Conference could not be more timely, executives at the association say.

“With all of the focus on health care reform that is going on here in Washington and the impact it will have on this industry, the pharmacy conference could not come at a better time,” remarks NACDS senior vice president of member programs and services Jim Whitman.

Scheduled for August 8 through August 12 in Boston, the conference will include presentations from Washington, D.C., insiders and business leaders who are closely following the rapidly unfolding health care debate, more than 20 educational sessions on topics relevant to today’s pharmacists, and an exhibit hall where suppliers will show their latest innovations.

Because so much of the discussion at the show is expected to focus on how reforming the nation’s health care system will impact community pharmacies, NACDS will devote the conference’s entire opening session and most of its daily business programs to the topic.

Former Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle, who remains deeply involved in the health care debate, will be the keynote speaker at the conference’s opening session on August 9.
A day later, NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson will talk about health care reform legislation being debated in Congress and will assess the impact these proposals will have on community pharmacies.

He will be followed by Mark Zandi, chief economist and cofounder of, who will discuss the impact that the economic slowdown is having on the industry and how it will affect health care reform.

The final business program on August 11 will feature IMS Health vice president of industry relations Doug Long, who will talk about the trends, issues and forecasts in demographics, sales and markets that are shaping the prescription drug business.

This year’s Pharmacy Conference will feature for the first time a “Meet the Retailer/How to Do Business With …” session, in which suppliers will hear details on the intricacies of working with suppliers from the three major trade classes.

Representatives from the supermarket companies H-E Butt Grocery Co. and Supervalu Inc., the warehouse club operator Costco Wholesale Corp., and the Walgreen Co. drug chain will participate in the four-hour forum, which is slated to run from 8 a.m. until noon on August 8.

The idea to add a “Meet the Retailer/How to Do Business With …” session to this year’s event grew out of the success of similar forums at other NACDS conferences.
Started a few years ago at the association’s Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., the session has since become a regular part of the annual NACDS Marketplace Conference.

“There was enough interest by our associate members and by key retailers that we decided to do it this year,” Whitman notes. “If it is successful — and we think it will be — it should become an integral part of the Pharmacy Conference in the future.”

Meanwhile, NACDS has lined up a wide variety of presenters for the event’s 21 educational sessions (20 of the sessions are accredited for continuing education credit). Sessions will cover an array of topics, ranging from a look at the status of bringing generic biopharmaceuticals to the market to dealing with changes in the Medicaid and Medicare programs.