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‘We need end-to-end thinking about health care’

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NACDS chairman Martin Otto touts collaboration at Total Store Expo

BOSTON — National Association of Chain Drug Stores leaders told retailers and suppliers at the 2016 NACDS Total Store Expo that they’re well-positioned to help the nation meet challenges in health care.

During the business program on Sunday, NACDS chairman Martin Otto explained that the collaboration already exercised by NACDS business partners in health and wellness products and services and consumer goods can translate into solutions to improve health care and rein in its costs.

“This meeting makes a real positive difference in terms of our businesses’ ability to serve our customers. What we are accomplishing together can ultimately make a tremendous difference on issues that are posing significant challenges to our country,” said Otto, chief merchant and chief financial officer of H-E-B. “We need improved access to quality, affordable health care, which pharmacy can help to provide. Health care spending is crowding out social services and education dollars. As a result, poverty is increasing, creating a vicious cycle.

“The good news is that there are solutions, and we can collectively lead the way,” Otto noted, pointing to NACDS’ role in advocating for policies that improve access to pharmacy patient care. “We need long-term, end-to-end thinking about health care, its connection to other spending needs, and how individual actions affect the overall system,” he added.

The collaboration among NACDS members also reflects its focused, patient-centered approach in community pharmacy advocacy — and stands in contrast to the declining sense of political influence that many voters now feel today, according to NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson.

He gave examples of NACDS programs that illustrate the association’s “authenticity of mission and effectiveness in action” in addressing challenges such as prescription drug abuse and access, improving patient care, fostering retailer-supplier partnerships that benefit consumers, and increasing engagement in the political arena.

Anderson also cited NACDS Foundation initiatives that focus on advancing public health, including education related to the Zika virus and increased screening for HIV and hepatitis C.

“NACDS is helping to put the public back into public policy,” Anderson told Total Store Expo attendees. “NACDS is putting patients at the center of patient care. NACDS is keeping the membership at the heart of member service. NACDS is injecting the pharmacy electorate into critical elections. And the NACDS Foundation and our partners are focusing on the public in public health initiatives.”

Video courtesy of NACDS-TV.


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