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NACDS TSE exhibitors donate products to Las Vegas nonprofits

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. — Following the completion of the inaugural NACDS Total Store Expo at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, exhibitors donated 6,000 lbs. of consumer goods to be dispersed to various charitable organizations throughout the Las Vegas area, NACDS has announced.

NACDS worked with Sands Expo to donate leftover products to local nonprofit organizations to be dispersed to those in need. Local nonprofits will benefit from donations, ranging from cosmetics, health and hygiene products, food and beverages, household supplies to other consumer products available in chain pharmacies.

“During these challenging economic times, we are deeply grateful to the exhibitors at the NACDS Total Store Expo for their product contributions to help those in need in the Las Vegas community,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.  “We appreciate partnering with Sands Expo to distribute these goods to local nonprofit organizations.”

The nonprofit organizations that will receive goods from the product donation include:

The Teacher Exchange: Created by The Public Education Foundation, The Teacher Exchange provides free resources to public classrooms, while helping the environment. Thousands of Clark County teachers benefit from receiving a variety of reusable, recycled and gently used materials, supplies and equipment. Since its inception, the organization has collected and recycled more than 1 million pounds of electronic hardware, paper and other classroom materials that would have otherwise been disposed of in local landfills.

The Shade Tree: The largest shelter of its kind in the state, The Shade Tree is the only 24-hour accessible shelter designed specifically to meet the needs of women and children in Southern Nevada. The more than 300 permanent beds provide more than 100,000 nights of shelter each year. The 38,000-sq.-ft. facility includes residential areas (i.e., sleeping rooms, libraries, training rooms, rest rooms and children’s play rooms), a main floor (i.e., kitchen, laundry, restrooms and showers, and services for victims of violence), and a basement for storing donations and shelter supplies. All of The Shade Tree’s services are provided free of charge, regardless of the length of stay.

Three Square: Three Square is the only food bank serving Southern Nevada. Its mission is to provide wholesome food to hungry people, while pursuing a hunger-free community. Working with more than 600 program partners, Three Square combines food banking (i.e.,warehousing canned and boxed goods), food rescue (i.e., obtaining surplus or unused meats, bread, dairy and produce from hospitality and grocery outlets), and ready-to-eat meals, to be the most complete food solution for Southern Nevada. In 2012, more than 24.5 million lbs. of food, the equivalent of 18.8 million meals, were distributed.

Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada: VMSN provides health care to uninsured and unemployed residents of Southern Nevada, including the chronically ill and those seeking preventive care. Current services include adult and pediatric primary care, women’s care, newborn checkups and immunizations, basic diagnostic tests and medications. Future plans include the addition of dental, mental and vision services, as well as the opening of a second facility. In addition to a growing list of referral physicians, VMSN and has affiliation agreements with major teaching institutions and works with national pharmaceutical companies to provide medications for patients.

Another donation took place following the 2013 NACDS Total Store Expo. American BioTech Supply donated vaccination refrigerators and freezers to the Southern Nevada Health District, which provides vaccinations to 100,000 children in the region each year.  
 

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Absorbing the lessons from NACDS Total Store Expo

BY Jim Frederick

It’s been a week since the National Association of Chain Drug Stores wrapped up its massive Total Store Expo pow-wow in Las Vegas. Hundreds of retail pharmacy industry vendors have broken down their exhibits and cleared the cavernous Sands Expo Center for the next big event. By last Wednesday, the exodus of more than 5,700 exhausted conference-goers from Sin City had slowed to a trickle.

Now those thousands of participants are back at their jobs. And so begins for them the long process of assimilating the flood of information they absorbed at NACDS TSE. Among the dizzying lineup of seminars and discussion groups at this broad-based event were plenty of topics for both pharmacy leaders and front-end merchants, ranging from health reform and the emergence of accountable care organizations, new collaborative patient-care models and telehealth, to techniques for adapting to today’s digitally empowered consumer and smartphone-assisted shopping.

Running Aug. 10 to 13 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, TSE combined three major NACDS conferences: Pharmacy and Technology, Marketplace and Supply Chain and Logistics. It was the biggest single event in the chain pharmacy group’s history, and it packed a full schedule of speeches, educational sessions and vendor-sponsored get-togethers into its four-day format. Among the highlights: talks by former senator and secretary of state Hillary Clinton, NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson and chairman Bob Narveson of Thrifty-White; an update on the pharmaceutical market by Doug Long, IMS Health VP-industry relations; and a panel on the “new healthcare landscape” moderated by NACDS’ government affairs chief, Carol Kelly.

Also not to be missed: a full-strength performance at the final NACDS “Vegas Extravaganza” party by The Who’s Roger Daltrey. One of the best concerts I’ve ever witnessed at an industry event, and thanks to NACDS for bringing in him and his band – which included co-founder Pete Townsend’s brother Simon, if not Pete himself, and a stable of excellent musicians who replicated The Who’s sound flawlessly.

Drug Store News was at TSE full-strength, covering the event from top-to-bottom and publishing a 52-page daily edition. Highlights can be found at the DSN website, Drugstorenews.com, along with my coverage of the meeting of the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations and even slide shows of conference highlights.

Were you there? If so, feel free to share your experiences and impressions of this massive gathering.


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CVS Caremark hosts grand opening of new mail service pharmacy, customer center

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark held a grand opening event on Tuesday at its new mail service pharmacy and customer center in Mt. Prospect, Ill.

The 150,000-sq.-ft. facility, representing an investment of approximately $67 million, supports pharmacy inventory and fulfillment needs across the CVS Caremark PBM book of business, which serves approximately 60 million members throughout the United States. With the capability to fill 50 million prescriptions annually, this new facility is an example of CVS Caremark’s continued investment and commitment to the State of Illinois, the company stated.


(Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark, gives Governor Quinn of Illinois a tour of the new mail service pharmacy in Mt. Prospect)

CVS Caremark hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a tour of its new Mt. Prospect facility. Company officials also took the opportunity to recognize and thank supporters from the state and region who helped make the development of the Mt. Prospect mail service pharmacy possible. Fifty-nine Illinois-based businesses were used during the construction of the facility.

The new facility will employ more than 400 people by the end of 2013, including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, automation technicians and process-improvement engineers. Technology at the facility enables 90% of prescriptions to be dispensed and 80% of prescriptions to be packaged for mailing, using full automation. In addition, in order to further assure safe and accurate dispensing, all prescriptions are visually checked by one of the on-site pharmacists before they are mailed.

"This new CVS Caremark mail service pharmacy and customer center is a great example of our commitment as a pharmacy innovation company to helping people on their path to better health," stated Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark. "The combination of technologically advanced automation and the expertise of our highly qualified pharmacy teams help us ensure people have convenient access to affordable medications."

"We are pleased that CVS Caremark chose to build this new state-of-the-art facility in Mt. Prospect, Illinois," said Governor Pat Quinn. "I am happy to have the opportunity to participate in this ribbon-cutting event today, and appreciate the role that CVS Caremark plays both as a national healthcare innovator and as an employer in our community."

The facility also includes a CVS Caremark customer center complete with an executive briefing room designed to introduce clients and future partners to CVS Caremark’s integrated programs and services. Video and touchscreen technology illustrate the CVS Caremark story and allow direct interaction with CVS retail pharmacists, specialty pharmacists and mail service pharmacists, as well as with Minute Clinic nurse practitioners, via real-time telepresence technology.

In combination with the mail service pharmacy capabilities, the customer center offers opportunities to work with clients and partners to identify and develop solutions that leverage the full CVS Caremark enterprise for improving access, cost and quality for patients and payers.

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