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NACDS is ‘catalyst for collaboration’

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Edeker, Anderson rally retailers, suppliers to tackle today's challenges

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NACDS chairman Randy Edeker addresses membership during the Total Store Expo business program.

DENVER — Amid today’s fast-changing retail and health care environments, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores stands as a key resource for its retailer and supplier members, NACDS leaders said at the Total Store Expo here.

Speaking Sunday during the Total Store Expo’s business program NACDS chairman Randy Edeker, who also is chairman, chief executive officer and president of Hy-Vee Inc., and NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson addressed attendees in the prelude to a keynote speech by television journalist and author Tom Brokaw. Both NACDS leaders assessed emerging trends and encouraged action to address the operating environment spanning retail, pharmacy, health and wellness, consumer goods, supply chain and logistics, and health information technology.

“Joining the NACDS leadership team is one of the best decisions I’ve made,” Edeker told attendees. “NACDS promotes member companies as the face of neighborhood health care and pharmacies, but the organization is much more. NACDS is the center of strong collaboration, the center of strong innovation and a strong support and source of friendship.”

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Edeker greets the keynote speaker, TV journalism icon Tom Brokaw.

Hy-Vee’s mission to make peoples’ lives easier, healthier and happier “fits NACDS’ mission incredibly well,” and “when you think about pharmacy, over-the-counter medications, beauty, cosmetics, snacks, natural products and organics, it’s all at the Total Store Expo,” he noted.

Edeker went on to describe the state of evolving health care delivery models, including efforts to advance pharmacist provider-status legislation, new perspectives on definitions of health and wellness, specialty pharmacy, health care quality measures, the role of technology in meeting the needs of patients and consumers, Millennial trends and cybersecurity.

He also announced that registration is open for the 2016 NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill, to be held March 16 and 17. He urged participation in the grassroots lobbying event, which brings pharmacy advocates to Washington, D.C., to meet with congressional representatives and other policy makers.

“NACDS has never been more important than right now,” Edeker said. “It’s about connections and relationships, and NACDS is the catalyst for that collaboration. It brings health care, retail and suppliers together. This is an ideal forum for business planning and discovering new innovations, unrecognized opportunities and undiscovered possibilities.”

Anderson stressed the significance of “interruptions” in the national landscape and in the industry’s operating environment, noting that “the way NACDS handles them is one of the keys to our strength and success.”

“At prior NACDS meetings, I’ve talked about ‘disruptive innovation’ — when a product or service displaces established competitors by making that product or service more accessible to the general public. But I’ve decided it’s not just disruptions that change the game. It’s also the interruptions,” he said.

This year, examples that show NACDS’ flexibility to address events that present significant challenges or opportunities, Anderson said, include NACDS’ successful advocacy to block an effort to reduce pharmacy Medicaid reimbursement to help pay for the 21st Century Cures legislation passed by the House of Representatives; NACDS’ preparation for all contingencies in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year on the Affordable Care Act; NACDS’ successful advocacy on Medicaid funding issues in New York, California and other states; and NACDS’ engagement on complex prescription drug abuse and access issues.

Anderson also spotlighted trends brought the by Millennial generation and opportunities as an example of interruptions “that have no boundaries” across business, public policy and politics.

“There is no doubt Millennials have already begun to dramatically impact your business, the public policy that affects your business, and the politics that decide the people who affect the policy that impacts your business,” he said.

Anderson added, “Get out there and look for the interruption that’s worth stopping you in your tracks, an exhibitor with a new product or a business partner with a new idea. Or take the risk and create the interruption that needs to be created. That, my friends, is what the NACDS Total Store Expo is all about.”


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