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Embrace change and ‘interruption,’ NACDS leaders urge TSE attendees


Massive changes in healthcare delivery, the rise of a new generation of health consumers and other forces continue to upend the practice and business of chain pharmacy, NACDS leaders told attendees of the Business Program at the 2015 NACDS Total Store Expo conference.

But companies that embrace change will help lead a new revolution in both health delivery and retailing, asserted NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson and Randy Edeker, chairman of NACDS and chairman, president and CEO of Hy-Vee.

Anderson said the nature of both retailing and society has shifted, from “orderly and linear” to “constant interruption.” In this climate of rapid change, he said, industry leaders who think “spontaneously and collaboratively” will succeed, and organizations like NACDS will serve as collaborative centers, where all stakeholders can engage effectively with the regulatory, political and social arenas in which they thrive.

Edeker also highlighted the organization’s value. “The speed of change and the need to evolve has never been greater,” he noted. “And you have been changing shoppers’ attitudes and expectations about how we deliver and what we deliver.”

For that reason, he said, “NACDS has never been more important.”

Given “the evolving healthcare delivery model” and the demographic changes roiling America, said Edeker, collaboration will be critical to meeting the challenges of a new retail health paradigm. “Evolving attitudes and expectations about care,” along with changes in lifestyles and new demands for better service and results, are driving a “quality revolution” in health care, he said. “It’s about measurement and data and personal touch, all at the same time.”

Many forces will shape pharmacy’s future, Edeker added. Among them: new reimbursement models for Medicare and Medicaid, a new “delivery model for pharmacy services,” and increased training for pharmacists.

Americans, by a wide margin, embrace this larger healthcare role for pharmacists, said Edeker, and 80% of them support the profession’s campaign for full provider status, according to NACDS research. Patients, he added, “are already turning to us for solutions and ideas and help.”

They’re also looking more holistically about the meaning of health. “There’s a trend toward a new health definition,” said Edeker. “Folks are considering the environment, nutrition, the social environment, emotional and spiritual health. And they turn to us for solutions. So you’ll see us continue to evolve. I see a time when we’ll have doctors, nurses, physicians’ assistants, nurse practitioners … dietitians — they’ll all be part of the mix, and will help deliver this new healthcare model for our patients.”

The rise of the millennial generation also will have a massive impact in coming years, said Edeker. And retailers will have to adapt to align themselves with the self-care tendencies, consumer expectations and independent-minded spending habits of this huge population.

Millennials, Edeker pointed out, already represent 21% of U.S. discretionary spending. “They account for $1 trillion in direct buying power right now,” he said. “So this is a force to be reckoned with, and we’ll have to … think about how we deliver that care in the future.”

Anderson agreed. “There is no doubt millennials have already begun to dramatically impact your business; the public policy that affects your business; and the politics that decide the people who affect the policy that impacts your business,” he said.

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