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NACDS offers look at what lies ahead for the industry

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PALM BEACH, Fla. — The evolution of health care is here, new National Association of Chain Drug Stores chairman Randy Edeker said at the 2015 NACDS Annual Meeting here last month.

NACDS 2015 chairman gavel exchange

John Standley (left) passes the gavel to new NACDS chairman Randy Edeker.

“The new health care definition includes environmental factors, nutrition, the social environment, emotional and spiritual factors,” said Edeker, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hy-Vee Inc. “All of that is now in the health care definition.”

In forecasting what lies ahead for NACDS, Edeker provided 10 perspectives on the ongoing changes in health care: Medicaid; health care delivery; attitudes toward and expectations for care; specialty pharmacy; quality measurements; technology and patient-managed health; Millennials’ attitudes; cybersecurity; growing collaboration among companies through NACDS; and government and political involvement.

He noted that NACDS’ ability to bring the industry together through efficient meetings and conferences is among the association’s capabilities that have impressed him most, along with its effectiveness in government relations. He committed his company to using association events — including the 2015 NACDS Total Store Expo, which will be held in Denver this August — to work with supplier partners on business planning and on innovative projects.

He noted the importance of the NACDS RxImpact Day grassroots advocacy program for government affairs, as well as the importance of the NACDS Political Action Committee.

Providing the rationale for his engagement with NACDS, Edeker said “in a typical week I spend 40% to 50% of my time dealing with some health, wellness or pharmacy issue.”

“I realized I had a great need,” he continued. “It was a strategic decision because this is where I need to be to move my company forward. Here we can have a voice. Here we can have an impact. And I am here to serve.”

Rite Aid chairman and CEO John Standley, whom Edeker succeeded as NACDS chairman, said the past year brought “critical progress toward reaching our full potential as an ­industry.”

Standley described “five pillars of value” summarizing the benefits of NACDS: “strengthening our collaborative relationships; protecting patient access to our pharmacies; expanding patient access to health services; facilitating the cutting-edge research of the NACDS Foundation; and telling our story, especially to our elected officials.”

He pointed out the importance of Total Store Expo in fostering collaboration between NACDS members and other industry segments: “It brings the right people together, and helps them collaborate, ­innovate and succeed.”

Reflecting NACDS’ focus on the entire store and on collaboration with diverse suppliers, Standley noted, “Our pharmacists are delivering more health services than ever before, and they can be empowered to do even more in the future. As this transformation takes place, our front-end business is evolving too, with a greater emphasis on health and wellness, retail innovation and meaningful ­differentiation.”

Steve Anderson, president and CEO of NACDS, detailed the importance of the relationships that flourish through the association. “I give great thought to why this meeting is so special, and why NACDS is such a special organization,” he said. “This is no ordinary association, this is no ordinary meeting, and you are no ordinary ­association members.

“It all comes down to relationships: relationships between our chain and associate members; relationships between competitors who come together in the NACDS board room and committee meetings; the relationship between the NACDS members and decision makers in federal and state government; the relationship between NACDS and the media, as we continue to communicate that our members are the face of neighborhood health care; and the relationship between our members and staff.”

He also drew a parallel between NACDS members’ meetings with government officials that facilitate pro-patient and pro-pharmacy policy, and the industry’s collaboration at NACDS meetings and ­conferences.


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