Boston – The retailers and suppliers gathered at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Total Store Expo can help to solve diverse challenges facing the nation, as described in a Business Program this morning by NACDS Chairman Martin Otto and NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE.
Otto, who is chief merchant and chief financial officer of H-E-B, described a model that demonstrates the societal value of NACDS members. In fact, he said this model relies on the valuable collaboration that is underway at the NACDS Total Store Expo between business partners in the areas of health-and-wellness and consumer-goods.
“I want to thank the retailers, supplier partners, and sponsors who are engaging so strongly in the NACDS Total Store Expo, and in all of the programs and services of NACDS,” Otto said. “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.”
Describing unsustainable federal spending on a range of issues including healthcare, education, social programs and defense, Otto said, “We need improved access to quality, affordable healthcare, which pharmacy can help to provide. Healthcare spending is crowding out social services and education dollars. As a result, poverty is increasing, creating a vicious cycle.”
Noting NACDS’ role in advocating for policies that improve access to pharmacy patient care, Otto stated, “The good news is that there are solutions, and we can collectively lead the way.”
“We need long-term, end-to-end thinking about healthcare, its connection to other spending needs, and how individual actions affect the overall system,” Otto said.
In his remarks, Anderson described the declining state of political efficacy in the nation – which refers to the people’s belief that they can affect, and have a say in, the direction of the government – and contrasted that with NACDS’ member-focused and patient-centered approach to everything it does.
He gave examples of NACDS programs which reflect the Association’s “authenticity of mission and effectiveness in action” in addressing challenges like prescription drug abuse and access; improving patient care; fostering retailer-supplier partnerships that benefit consumers; and increasing engagement in the political arena. He also described separate NACDS Foundation initiatives that focus on advancing public health, including education related to the Zika virus and increased screening for HIV and Hepatitis C.
Anderson said, “NACDS is helping to put the public back into public policy. 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.”
In other NACDS Total Store Expo developments, the Exhibit Hall opens today – following an already highly productive start to the conference that included, among other highlights, more than 7,000 pre-scheduled meetings between participating retailers and suppliers as part of the popular Meet the Market program.