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Regional Chain Conference speakers address key issues

Steve Anderson

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ORLANDO — The 2023 National Association of Chain Drug Stores Regional Chain Conference closed Tuesday with more presentations from top speakers on the most timely issues affecting the industry and the patients and consumers it serves.

A key feature of the programming was the One-to-One Business Conferences — a highly popular element of the schedule that fosters collaboration among NACDS chain and associate members and which sets the standard for NACDS meetings and conferences.

The gathering “continues to be the place for idea-sharing and collaboration on topics that impact the whole store and the whole person,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “As we look to the future of the association and of the industry, we thank the NACDS membership for their tremendous engagement and enthusiasm. NACDS looks forward to the entire 2023 calendar of NACDS events during NACDS’ special 90th anniversary celebration.”

Conference speakers included Purva Rawal, chief strategy officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center, who discussed the importance of integrating more healthcare providers into value-based arrangements to enhance patients’ access to health and wellness services.

Steven Chen, associate dean for clinical affairs, and the William A. and Josephine A. Heeres chair in community pharmacy and professor of clinical pharmacy at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, talked about the evolving healthcare ecosystem and provided practical tips to implement and expand innovative payment models in order to improve patient outcomes.

Scott Biggs, director of supplier services at IQVIA, and Doug Long, the company’s vice president of industry relations, shared the most up-to-date industry data on pharmaceutical trends, issues and forecasts for 2023 and beyond.

Greg Black, Waypoint Strategies LLC cofounder and partner; Emily Katz, managing director and healthcare practice chair at the Prime Policy Group; and Ken Nahigian, executive vice president of policy and communications for Nahigian Strategies; took attendees inside the association’s “war room” to hear about the current state of play on pro-patient, pro-pharmacy priorities.

Anthony Pudlo, executive director of the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, offered a state perspective on key pharmacy issues.

Brian Owens, senior vice president of commerce strategy and inclusive commerce for VMLY&R Commerce, described social media’s impact on pharmacy and health commerce shopping.

Todd Huseby, partner and Americas consumer healthcare lead at Kearney, shared the most important topics companies in the industry are discussing — and how these topics will frame industry dialogue moving forward.

Deborah Kelly, a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP, provided updates on changes in the 2022 workplace as employers and employees adapt to life in year three of COVID-19, and more.

Huseby and Owens also led a roundtable discussion on the interests, concerns, and aspirations of today’s and tomorrow’s consumer.

In addition, NACDS staff briefed attendees on priority federal and state issues in 2023 amid shifting political sands.


On Monday, Justin Heiser, Regional Chain Conference chair and chief operating officer of Thrifty White Pharmacy; Brian Nightengale, NACDS chair, and president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy; and Anderson discussed the future of the pharmacy profession, the reimagination and reinvention of health and wellness, and NACDS’ key priorities as the industry rolls into its 90th anniversary year.

The association invites member company representatives to register now for the 2023 NACDS Annual Meeting, to be held April 22-25 in Palm Beach, Fla., and the 2023 NACDS Total Store Expo, slated for August 12-14 in San Diego.