PHARMACY

Anda event focuses on networking, health reform

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — More than 250 executives who participated in Anda’s 4th Annual Supply Chain Symposium here Thursday and Friday were treated to a keynote address from Linda Tarplin, a leading healthcare consultant and former senior White House and Department of Health and Human Services staff member.

And more than 158 golfers played 18 holes of golf on the TPC Scottsdale Stadium course with top-ranked golfing instructor Butch Harmon, who boasts Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Nick Watney and Natalie Gulbis as just a few of his students. Rounding out the guest list was NBA hall-of-famer “The Logo” Jerry West. 

The event kicked off the night before with a series of one-on-ones that brought together Anda’s key customers and business partners. “The Anda Supply Chain Symposium is really designed to highlight Anda’s capabilities and bring together customers and manufacturers,” said Bill Versosky, VP sales and marketing at Anda. “We shipped to an incredible amount of locations last year, and we just want to thank all of our manufacturers and customers for coming out.”

“The symposium is a great format to exchange business ideas [and] facilitate commerce, both on and off the golf course,” added Marc Falkin, Anda VP purchasing. “We took our event to Scottsdale this year and reached a capacity of attendance I’m not sure anyone thought would take place when we first started planning.”

During the keynote address, Tarplin reviewed the impact of healthcare reform from the past year — in particular, how to control rising healthcare costs. Among the issues addressed by Tarplin:

  • Healthcare issues — in particular, how to control rising healthcare costs and contain the growth of the entitlement programs. Bipartisan discussions regarding the Medicare and Medicaid programs and policies to constrain the costs of entitlement programs, once considered politically untouchable, may soon be on the table for consideration;
  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that was passed last Congress and lauded by the administration as one of the landmark achievements of President Obama will continue to be a focal point for Republicans, who will continue their efforts to repeal the healthcare legislation. Republicans and Democrats will continue to debate the merits of this law, Tarplin said, while closely watching the various court cases moving forward on the constitutionality of the individual mandate; and
  • While some issues may get addressed in a bipartisan fashion this year, most of the larger healthcare debate at the national level will continue to be about setting the political stage for the 2012 elections.

For more pictures, click here.

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PHARMACY

NACDS to consolidate major conferences in 2013

BY DSN STAFF

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Early Sunday morning at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Annual Meeting, NACDS announced that in 2013 it will unify its current NACDS Marketplace Conference, NACDS Pharmacy & Technology Conference and NACDS Supply Chain & Logistics Conference into one new event, called the “NACDS Total Store Expo.” NACDS said the transformation of its conference program was based on input from member companies and a long-term vision for bringing business partners together in an innovative conference environment.

The NACDS Total Store Expo will deliver the member- and industry-focused approach that participants have come to expect from NACDS conferences, according to NACDS. The lineup of business meetings will continue to include the NACDS Regional Chain Conference and NACDS Annual Meeting in their current forms, and the changes will not affect already scheduled meetings and conferences in 2011 and 2012.

The first NACDS Total Store Expo is scheduled for Aug. 10 to 13, 2013 — the year of the 80th Anniversary of NACDS — in Las Vegas. 

The NACDS board of directors approved this innovation in the NACDS conference schedule based on input from NACDS members generated through ongoing dialogue and a formal outreach program over the past year that was designed to identify any opportunities to change NACDS events.

According to NACDS, the objectives of the new lineup of meetings include the following:

  • Keep the focus on maintaining — and even increasing — the time and access that make it possible for retailers and suppliers to do business;
  • Ensure that NACDS’ meetings are spaced more strategically throughout the year, allowing for a more effective follow-up rather than having a conference follow so soon after the NACDS Annual Meeting;
  • Create opportunities to address strategies across the store and across the industry, such as those related to health and wellness;
  • Ensure the lineup of meetings presents value to all NACDS members and constituencies — with their diversity in size and specialties;
  • Incorporate greater opportunities for discussion of such topics as supply chain and logistics, as these areas increasingly are being recognized as pivotal areas for managing costs and leveraging technology;
  • Include innovative business forums that keep NACDS at the forefront of retail dynamics, and at the forefront of association and conference trends; and
  • Reflect the fact that the industry represented by NACDS continues to become more influential in the nation’s economy.

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NACDS, NCPA express support for Military Retirees Health Care Protection Act

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association announced on Friday that they have issued a letter to Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., expressing pharmacy’s support for H.R. 1092, the Military Retirees Health Care Protection Act, which would help preserve Tricare beneficiaries’ access to pharmacy-based healthcare services.

The bill, introduced by Jones, prohibits increases to retail pharmacy co-payments.

"We understand the burden of rising health costs and the need to control spending in the military healthcare system," stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson and NCPA EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey in the joint letter. "However, we do not support efforts to modify pharmacy co-payments to further encourage the use of mail order."

NACDS and NCPA indicated they have long supported efforts to preserve access to pharmacy services for Tricare beneficiaries and their families. The groups also have worked with Congress, the Department of Defense and the administration to enhance such pharmacy-based Tricare services as expanding access to immunizations, which can help improve patient health and reduce healthcare costs.

"We offer our assistance in developing policy options that control prescription drug spending, while at the same time allowing retail pharmacies the privilege of providing prescription drugs and services to our nation’s military personnel," the letter concluded.

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