Gourlay: NACDS aims to ‘tell the story of chains’

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Plan in works to tout Rx chains' efforts to benefit Americans

Alex Gourlay, NACDS chairman and Walgreens Boots Alliance co-COO

Steve Anderson, NACDS president and CEO

Keynote speaker Gen. Colin Powell, former U.S. secretary of state

Jim Whitman, NACDS senior vice president

QuintilesIMS' Jim Hunter was presented the Pratt Award during the Total Store Expo business program.

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SAN DIEGO — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is working on a program to identify pharmacy chain members’ work to develop shared value that benefits society, NACDS chairman Alex Gourlay said at the 2017 Total Store Expo.

“We are going to tell the story of chains more clearly, and we are going to echo the story of our supplier partners,” Gourlay told expo attendees Sunday during the business program. “The NACDS board of directors will be finalizing the details of this program, and we will be announcing it soon. And I hope you will take the survey when it is available. The first step is to measure this engagement so we can tell, learn from and continue to improve our story.”

Gourlay, who is co-chief operating officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, noted that NACDS strives to remain forward-thinking and well in tune with the shifting political environment in retailing and health care. He said said NACDS has made strides on themes that he outlined during his first remarks as chairman at the NACDS Annual Meeting in April.

“This is where we come together to do two things: to build relationships and, most importantly to help Americans,” Gourlay explained. “The talk of everything is change, and I’m extremely optimistic, particularly with the heart of pharmacists at the heart of our industry.

“We start with the customer as the focus of the future,” he added.

According to Steve Anderson, president and chief executive officer of NACDS, members are leveraging the power of community, conversation and a focus on solutions to help address societal issues. He also described progress on the NACDS Future Value Targeting Initiative, launched at the NACDS Annual Meeting.

“In the marketplace of ideas, NACDS trades on our ability to develop public policy solutions,” Anderson told business program participants. “As part of Future Value Targeting, we position these solutions as the pharmacy ‘Access Agenda.’ It has three parts: defending pharmacy, advancing pharmacy and serving as a responsible partner on the toughest issues facing our nation.”

NACDS past chairman Martin Otto, COO of H-E-B, will address and lead a keynote panel at the 15th World Health Care Congress in Washington, D.C., on April 30, 2018, Anderson announced.

“It’s a natural extension of the issues Martin spoke about during his NACDS chairmanship,” Anderson noted. “The title is, ‘Call to Action: How We Can (and Must) Collaborate to Mitigate the Socioeconomic Barriers and Improve U.S. Health Care.’ “

Anderson also discussed NACDS efforts to position itself as a working partner for opioid solutions, as described earlier this week in a meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, and in comments to the President’s Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

“I hope Alex and I will leave you with two main thoughts,” Anderson added. “For one, NACDS provides great opportunities to advance your business. And, through NACDS, you are part of something even larger than any one company. Those are two really big ideas: value to the business, and value for society. That’s bold, and I’m here to tell you, that is NACDS.”

Also during the business program, keynote speaker Gen. Colin Powell (Ret.), former secretary of state, shared thoughts and experiences from his 50-year career in public service, including military and diplomatic posts spanning four presidential administrations and the founding and leadership of the youth-focused America’s Promise Alliance.

Sunday’s business program, too, included a surprise call to the stage for Jim Whitman, senior vice president of member programs and services at NACDS, in recognition of his 40th anniversary as an NACDS staff member.

Photos courtesy NACDS.


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