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Anderson: NACDS provides 'ideal forum'
May 2nd, 2011
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – In these challenging and uncertain times, planning and collective action are key, and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores provides a vehicle for both, NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson said at the 2011 NACDS Annual Meeting.
Speaking on Sunday during the Business Program at the Annual Meeting, Anderson noted that NACDS' government affairs, communications and meetings offer a unique forum for companies to exchange ideas and gain intelligence on today's business climate, as well as to express themselves as a single, more powerful voice to policymakers.
He described today's operating environment as characterized by uncertainties related to federal and state health care policy and budgets, swing elections resulting from voter dissatisfaction, the financial ripple effects of globalization and geopolitical unrest.
"The world is too small not to plan for," Anderson said in the Business Program, which also featured Larry Merlo, NACDS chairman and CVS Caremark Corp. CEO; Colin Mackenzie, president of consumer health care for North America at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare; and keynote speaker Karl Rove, former senior adviser to President George W. Bush. "Frankly, I think that is a big part of why we are here at this meeting and why we attend other NACDS meetings. This is an ideal forum to discuss the effects of macro and micro factors on business relationships and strategies — and our proactive responses through government affairs and industrywide communications."
As an example of the power of a unified industry voice, Anderson cited the success of the joint lawsuit filed by NACDS and the National Community Pharmacists Association to overturn the Medicaid average manufacturer price (AMP) pharmacy reimbursement model, which helped to preserve pharmacy viability and patients' access to pharmacy care.
He also pointed to the pro-pharmacy provisions of the new health care reform law and the platform that the debate over the legislation presented to help educate lawmakers about the ability of pharmacies to help improve lives and reduce health care costs, notably by promoting medication adherence.
"To sustain this vital message, we now have bills [S. 274 and H.R. 891] introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate that would continue the momentum of medication therapy management," Anderson stated.
He also described the NACDS advertising campaign in Washington, D.C., and the association's success in generating media coverage of the value of pharmacy as examples of NACDS' commitment to raise awareness of pharmacy's role in health care delivery.
And the collective voice of NACDS will be critical amid the flux of the nation's political scene in the lead-up to the 2012 congressional and presidential elections and even the 2014 midterm congressional contests, according to Anderson.
"There are 112 new members of the House and Senate as a result of last November's elections — that is nearly 21% of the entire Congress," he said. "We already have seen this dynamic shaping the debate in Washington, particularly on the budget, and the political waters have not calmed in the least."