The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is gearing up for three big events in the coming months, each of which will offer stakeholders in community pharmacy an opportunity to advance the interests of their organization and the industry as a whole.
Taken together, NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill, the NACDS Annual Meeting and the NACDS Total Store Expo will bring together representatives of member companies to address every aspect of the business.
More than 400 pharmacy advocates will assemble in Washington, D.C., on March 7 and March 8 for the 10th anniversary of RxImpact Day.
The purpose of the gathering is to inform members of Congress and other federal officials about the contributions and capabilities of the profession, and make the case for legal and regulatory changes that will enable pharmacists to assume an even larger role than they currently have in solving the problems of access, quality and cost that plague the nation’s health care system.
This year’s edition of RxImpact Day is especially notable for a couple of reasons.
For the first time, members of the advocacy group, including top executives from large and small chains alike, frontline pharmacists and students, are expected to meet with the offices of all House and Senate members. And in another first for the event, people from all 50 states will participate. Overall, a record 40% of NACDS retail members will take part.
More important, the gathering will give participants a chance to rekindle the momentum interrupted last year when the event had to be canceled because of severe winter weather. Although NACDS board members conveyed the group’s pro-patient, pro-pharmacy message to lawmakers in a scaled-down version of RxImpact Day later in the year, pharmacy will benefit from once again having such a broad cross-section of individuals speaking up for the profession and the people it serves.
“Already, throughout the past decade, the event has proven itself as an effective focal point for pharmacy’s story as the face of neighborhood health and wellness,” says Steve Anderson, president and chief executive officer of NACDS.
RxImpact Day has been a key component in the association’s successful drive to secure a seat at the table for retail pharmacy when health care policy is debated. This year’s edition of the event, which for the first time will reach new members of the 115th Congress, is sure to build on that track record of accomplishment.
The NACDS Annual Meeting, scheduled for April 21 through April 24 in Palm Beach, Fla., is the industry’s premier event. Drawing high-level executives from the full spectrum of retailers that sell “drug store” merchandise and CPG suppliers, the meeting offers an unequaled opportunity to discuss issues of common concern, assess the state of relationships between companies and review strategic plans.
Encompassing plenary sessions, other group meetings and one-on-one conferences, as well as an impressive roster of social events, the Annual Meeting enables attendees to forge new connections with colleagues, strengthen existing ones and get an immense amount of work done in just four days.
NACDS Total Store Expo is a logical follow-up to the Annual Meeting. Slated for August 25 through August 27 in Denver, Total Store Expo will allow a broader range of retailer and supplier executives than attend the Annual Meeting to build on the conversations conducted in Palm Beach, and develop ways to implement the decisions made there.
The show, which covers the front end, pharmacy, technology and logistics, encourages attendees to think about the store as a whole, the same way customers do, rather than have their vision restricted by the silos that often arise within companies. That process is facilitated by Insight Sessions, where experts tackle industry issues, and a general business program, while the exhibit hall features goods and services related to every part of the drug store.
RxImpact Day, the Annual Meeting and Total Store Expo serve to protect and strengthen the standing of chain pharmacy and the companies that comprise it. Any retailer or supplier that hasn’t made a commitment to these events and the overall mission of NACDS would do themselves and their peers a favor by reconsidering their position.