April 29, 2014, Scottsdale, Ariz. — As the newly elected chairman of the Board of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), John Standley emphasized the value that NACDS chain and associate members derive from the Association as the industry pursues a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to improve patient health and healthcare delivery in the United States.
Standley, chairman and CEO of Rite Aid Corporation, delivered remarks this morning at an NACDS Annual Meeting Business Program — after accepting the gavel from Bob Narveson, president and CEO of Thrifty White Pharmacy, who concluded his one-year term as NACDS chairman.
“Healthcare delivery is undergoing historic change, placing unprecedented demands on our business while presenting enormous opportunities to grow,” Standley said. “As our individual companies deal with these dramatic changes, my objective this morning is to ensure that everyone — especially our associate members – understands and appreciates the valuable role that NACDS plays in helping us navigate this new healthcare landscape.”
Standley described new Rite Aid health and wellness initiatives that resulted from the company’s answer to the question: “What do our customers need and want?” He acknowledged efforts underway throughout pharmacy to pursue a vision for the future in which “we can find new ways to provide care beyond prescriptions, improve the health of our patients and demonstrate our value to the healthcare system.”
He emphasized that his company’s initiatives include partnerships with other local healthcare providers and with suppliers of pharmacy and front-end products.
“When you step back and consider the big picture, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help solve perhaps the biggest domestic issue our country is facing, and that’s an affordable and sustainable healthcare system,” Standley urged. “This rapidly changing healthcare environment has required all NACDS stakeholders to think differently about our core business models and how we can best support the needs of our customers and patients.”
To advance this effort, Standley said that NACDS is “leading the way in educating policy-makers about the expanded role of community pharmacy and making sure that our voice is heard during key policy debates…And if you think about it, these issues fall into one of two categories: maintaining our current business model for pharmacies and setting the stage for our business model of the future.”
He described NACDS efforts to advocate for fair Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement, for “provider status” for pharmacists and for improved access to medication therapy management services, among other issues.
Beyond government affairs, Standley described the value of NACDS meetings and conferences to the industry’s evolution — particularly in the ability of these events to bring current and potential partners together.
“As these stronger partnerships begin to form, NACDS has emerged as a laboratory for the future of health and wellness retailing throughout all channels,” he said. “It starts at the Regional Chain Conference in February, and continues at this Annual Meeting and the Total Store Expo in August. And later in the year, NACDS Week in New York City has really emerged as another fantastic opportunity for high-level strategic exchange.
These meetings fuel the engines of collaboration. They set the bar higher, and they ultimately drive positive change in the healthcare and consumer products environment.”
Summarizing the outlook for NACDS and the industry, Standley said, “I can think of no greater praise for NACDS than to say it directly supports the vision that drives our industry. I can think of no greater thanks to the suppliers than to say that your engagement in NACDS matters tremendously — right to the core of what we do. As I begin this chairmanship, it’s clear to me that the opportunity to help lead this organization is an opportunity to help advance our companies, and industry, and the customers and patients we serve.”
Also during his remarks, Standley acknowledged Caitlin Pappas, vice president, U.S. consumer sales, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, who supported and spoke at this morning’s NACDS Annual Meeting Business Program. Similarly, Jack Bailey, senior vice president, policy, payers, and vaccines, GlaxoSmithKline, supported and spoke at Sunday morning’s NACDS Annual Meeting Business Program.
Today’s Business Program also featured a keynote address by former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who also served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and chairman of the House Budget Committee.