NACDS’ New Course

April 25, 2017

Expanded scope-of-practice/health-and-wellness figure prominently in new strategy.

Thinking and acting like a traditional trade association will not be part of NACDS’s future. Instead, the trade organization will start thinking and acting like a start-up and a think tank.

In an address to members and associates at its 2017 Annual Meeting, NACDS President and CEO Steve Anderson said that this philosophy is part of the organization’s “Future Value Targeting Initiative.”

“Future value targeting initiative might sound like a lofty term, but if you think about the words, it’s the future. We’re positioning ourselves and doing things right now that will lead this industry well into the future.”

The goal, said Anderson, is to make sure that NACDS is addressing the needs of its members in a rapidly changing business environment.

Related article: NACDS Elects Officers/New Members to Board/Executive Committee

“How do we provide value in what we do for you as members? And to the value that you bring to your customers and to the patients that come into our stores.”

Anderson said that the organization will continue to focus on core issues including: Medicaid reimbursement, dispensing and provider status under Medicare Part B, and DIR.

He said that NACDS is going to lead health-care associations and other constituencies to deliver solutions for access, quality, and cost, as well as focusing on the issues of health and wellness, and wellbeing.

“We’re focusing on pharmacists’ scope of practice. How do we allow the pharmacist with their doctorate degrees, to provide more expanded services on behalf of our members?” said Anderson.

The face of neighborhood health

Citing NACDS polling data from a Wisconsin congressional district that asked constituents’ views on the work that pharmacists do, Anderson reported that an overwhelming 86% of respondents said pharmacies are accessible and 74% said that they had visited a pharmacy in the last 12 months.

The poll revealed that pharmacists’ position as trusted professionals remains high, with 77% of the respondents saying that they have a favorable view of pharmacists and 70% have a favorable view of their pharmacy.

Related article: Why consumers trust pharmacists

Eighty-six percent of respondents said that they support the idea of pharmacists providing health tests such as blood pressure screenings; immunization (83%); tests for strep (80%); while 79% support pharmacist’s managing illnesses such as diabetes.

The retail pharmacy business model is challenged

“What was once a fairly profitable business”, said Martin Otto, NACD’s outgoing chairman, “today is about a break-even business. That’s something that has to be addressed.”

Otto added that the association will continue to focus on several key areas that impact its members:

  • Provider status for pharmacists so that pharmacists would be able to practice to the level of their qualifications by providing services for which they are qualified, but from which they are prevented in some states

  • Address unnecessary regulations that add inefficiency

  • Create a comprehensive plan to address the opioid abuse epidemic

  • Reimbursement rates, including DIR fees

“The fact that reimbursement in pharmacy continues to decline is not good for pharmacy retail and ultimately over time, I’d argue it’s not good for the nation’s health-care situation,” said Otto.