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Retail execs act as Capitol Hill advocates

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of community pharmacy executives, pharmacy students and other pharmacy advocates representing 41,000 chain pharmacies took to Capitol Hill from March 13 to 14 for the 5th Annual NACDS RxImpact Day and conducted more than 400 meetings with U.S. senators and representatives. In support of the event, DSN published the third edition of its special RxImpact supplement. Sponsored by Upsher Smith, the special edition of DSN was distributed to members of Congress and is intended to educate lawmakers on the expanded role community pharmacy can play in healthcare reform.

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Twitter, social media amplify RxImpact conversation

BY Antoinette Alexander

This year at the 5th Annual NACDS RxImpact Day, the voice of community pharmacy reached far beyond the office walls of U.S. senators and representatives as community pharmacy advocates — and even members of Congress — took to Twitter, Facebook and other social media.

"It definitely seemed that we had even better engagement in using Twitter at NACDS RxImpact this year than I think we’ve had at pretty much any other NACDS event," said Chris Krese, SVP marketing, communications and media relations for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

With about 50 tweets from 20 individuals, the rise in social media use during this year’s NACDS RxImpact was largely organic.

"Really, for the most part, we had completely unprompted involvement. … They were tweeting where they were and that they were about to get on the plane to come to advocate for pharmacy in Washington, D.C.," said Krese. "And I think the more people saw that other people were [tweeting], it just started to take on a life of its own."

Not only did Twitter activity among NACDS members experience an uptick, but there also was a rise in activity among chain pharmacy representatives.

"In prior years, the pharmacy students who were participating in the event were very active on Twitter. What we started to see even more this year is that some of the chain representatives who were advocating on Capitol Hill were more active on Twitter this year," Krese said.

Krese said that Facebook also experienced a good deal of activity as people responded to posted photos of the event, and NACDS also developed a Flickr photo feed to share photos of the meetings.

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NACDS preps for TSE

BY Antoinette Alexander

As the Total Store Expo draws near, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has put together a checklist to help industry members gear up for a successful event.

TSE, which marks a new concept for trading partners, will combine the Marketplace Conference, the Pharmacy and Technology Conference and the Supply Chain and Logistics Conference into one mega trade show held Aug. 10 to 13 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas.

"It is going to allow for multiple conversations just having supply, front end or consumer goods, and pharmacy and technology there. In one conversation you can actually address all four of those areas," said Jim Whitman, SVP member programs and services at NACDS. "We’re excited that so many people [are] joining us in what we really believe will be a very innovative way of doing business as we move forward."

At press time, TSE was nearly 90% sold out with more than 40 first-time companies.

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