Q&A: Association evolution
Consumer Healthcare Products Association president Linda Suydam in March announced her retirement, effective at the end of the year, at the association’s Annual Executive Conference, and is headed Southwest to pursue interests “less Washingtonian,” she said during her address at the conference. Many have credited Suydam, who joined the CHPA from the Food and Drug Administration, for helping foster unity among the association and its partners. During her tenure, she said, the CHPA adopted a winning formula: enlist the help of partners, develop an evidence-based plan and employ all resources available from all the different stakeholders. Drug Store News caught up with Linda Suydam in May to discuss her time at the CHPA and what may be in store for her successor.
Drug Store News: Looking back, how has the role of the CHPA changed and/or evolved?
Linda Suydam: The CHPA has continued to grow and evolve in the eight years I have been here. As the environment changes, our members change, and we—as the association that represents them—must adapt as well. Our efforts to promote the safe use and safekeeping of children’s cough-and-cold medicines obviously is a major ongoing project, and all of our work on ingredient defense has grown significantly. Obviously, this is in response to changes in the regulatory environment.
DSN: Which CHPA initiative during your tenure are you either the most proud of or you think had the greatest impact on the industry?
Suydam: I am very proud of the establishment of the CHPA Educational Foundation and its Web site, OTCsafety.org. Providing an online resource on the safe and effective use of OTC medicines, combined with all of our educational efforts and partnerships, is the work that has impacted the consumer the most.
DSN: What would be your advice to the incoming CHPA president in 2011?
Suydam: My advice to my successor is that he or she should stay in close communication with the members and their evolving needs. That is the most important thing any association executive can do. But it also is incredibly important to honor the good work your staff is doing and stick to your principles.
NACDS puts a new spin on Meet the Market
SAN DIEGO This year the National Association of Chain Drug Stores introduced two new features to its Meet the Market format. First, NACDS hosted a Meet the Market Presentation Template webinar twice prior to Meet the Market, in which NACDS introduced a meeting template that succinctly captured all of the information retailers typically use to evaluate a new product or company.
Also new to Meet the Market were the booths of 10 service companies — trade media and professional education, merchandising consultants and marketing/media information companies — which afforded an opportunity for new and smaller suppliers to meet with these organizations.
“New companies have a need not only to meet with retailers, obviously, they have a need for their business,” noted Jim Whitman, NACDS SVP meetings and conferences. Another ongoing improvement is the productivity within each meeting, Whitman added. “We keep refining the match, the appointments,” he said.
This year, the Meet the Market format — in which smaller and new suppliers have 10-minute meetings with their category buyers — represented more than 8,000 face-to-face pre-arranged appointments.
Retail clinic growth slowing down? Not a chance
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT The news that Target is looking to expand its retail-based clinic business this year is yet one more indicator that reports of the demise of retail clinic growth have been greatly exaggerated.
(THE NEWS: Target to expand its retail clinic presence. For the full story, click here)
As the article states, Target, which opened its first clinic in 2006, is looking to open up eight new locations this September. It already operates 28 locations in Minnesota and Maryland.
It wasn’t so long ago — April to be exact — that CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic indicated that it could double its current number of clinics in five years.
Why the growth? Well, aside from the aging population and a shortage of primary care physicians, a major catalyst is healthcare reform, which will mean that 32 million people who currently are uninsured will have healthcare coverage. With emergency rooms already overflowing, and primary care physicians already over-extended, having a retail clinic nearby where patients can receive convenient, quality and affordable health care will only become increasingly important.
Meanwhile, RediClinic, which has 22 clinics in H-E-B stores in Houston and Austin, Texas, is cranking up its marketing efforts and has tapped former Duane Reade executive Jeff Thompson as VP marketing. Thompson will be responsible for RediClinic’s consumer and partner marketing activities, including developing and implementing strategic customer acquisition/retention programs, new product delivery and brand strategy.
Thompson most recently served as VP marketing for Duane Reade.
Clearly, there continues to be significant growth opportunities for clinics — both in terms of the number of clinic locations and the scope of services offered within the clinics. As mentioned earlier, there are 32 million reasons why the growth will be quite dramatic.