Wrapping Up McKesson ideaShare 2024


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Drug Topics has been on site at McKesson ideaShare this week! Check out this podcast to hear a few of the things we've experienced and what we've learned so far.

Drug Topics: It’s been an exciting week for Drug Topics reporting live from McKesson ideaShare 2024 in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year’s meeting was nothing short of incredible, from the exciting general sessions to the naming of the Health Mart Pharmacy of the Year.

We’re here to break down some of the key highlights of this year’s meeting and share some of the amazing insights within the independent pharmacy space that we picked up along the way. From thousands of independent pharmacy owners and their teams convening in one place to the continuously evolving solutions designed by McKesson to help them out in their day-to-day operations, this year’s conference really tapped into the idea of community within the pharmacy profession.

Diving into the meeting’s second general session, held on Monday, June 24th, this presentation centered around profitability within the pharmacy. Kicking things off, motivational speaker, facilitator, and trainer Penny Zenker—also known as the “focusologist”—graced the stage to discuss the ideas behind a “reset mindset.”

Zenker was able to get the audience involved, thinking about where their focus as independent pharmacists should be on a regular basis. Crystal Lennartz, President of Health Mart and Health Mart Atlas, then returned to the stage to share the top priorities of Health Mart and Health Mart Atlas after taking on her role last December. In light of Zenker’s focus on resetting the mindset, Lennartz delved into how it plans to reset and refocus its support for independent pharmacies.

“We're working behind the scenes to rethink and reimagine what it means to be a Health Mart Pharmacy and be the best long-term partner for all of you. Second, we're focusing on revenue diversification and patient care. We’re eyeing new products and services that allow you to further diversify your revenue,” said Lennartz. Her sentiments about diversification in the front and back ends of the pharmacy effortlessly led into McKesson’s newly introduced Foster & Thrive private brand of over-the-counter products, which also welcomed its new line of eco-friendly, highly recyclable products made of 70% less plastic.

Lennartz also discussed how her team is working to help independent pharmacies elevate their digital presence within the ever-evolving space of technology. “We're in the age of the digitally enabled health care consumer. The advances in digital technologies and consumer health access are putting patients in control of their care. We're equipping the Health Mart brand digitally and making it easier for patients to find your local pharmacy,” she said.

She then delved into the McKesson Reimbursement Advantage tool that helps maximize reimbursement dollars and save pharmacies time. From eye-opening statistics of $3,600 monthly average savings for customers, to assistance in maneuvering around the double DIR fee challenge introduced at the beginning of this year, McKesson Reimbursement Advantage may be one of the company’s most useful tools for allowing independent pharmacies to help pharmacies receive every dollar they are owed.

The final general session, held Tuesday, June 25th and titled “Let’s Beat the Drum of Advocacy,” focused on advocacy and community impact in independent pharmacy. With some of the independent pharmacy community’s heaviest hitters taking the stage, the talk was an inspiring session giving audience members some of the most useful insights on how to get involved on the state in federal levels to really make a change in their professions. 

This presentation featured several leaders in the pharmacy space, including Senator Shane Reeves, PharmD, Tennessee State Representative; Krystalyn Weaver, PharmD, JD, CEO of the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations; B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association; and Michael D. Hogue, PharmD, FAPhA, CEO of the American Pharmacists Association. From provider status legislation on the federal level, and even more importantly on the state level, these key opinion leaders in the independent pharmacy advocacy space gave great insights on how any pharmacist can get involved with their local government and really introduce change in their communities.

Perhaps the most anticipated reveal at McKesson ideaShare 2024—aside from the many amazing new announcements regarding McKesson’s independent pharmacy solutions—was the winner of the 2024 Health Mart Pharmacy of the Year award. McKesson ideaShare attendees had the opportunity to cast their vote from a selection of three finalists—including Dreier Pharmacy in Wisconsin, Creswell Health Mart Pharmacy in Oregon, and Hayden Pharmacy in Alabama. During the final night party on Tuesday, McKesson was proud to announce the family-owned Dreier Pharmacy as its 2024 winner.

“With all my staff, we would not be here today. And without the community, we wouldn't be here today. We're their trusted health care resource in the community and we want to continue in that tradition,” co-owner of Dreier Pharmacy, Tim Dreier, told Drug Topics.

As the dust settles at McKesson ideaShare 2024, and as the 150-plus exhibitors and nearly 2700 attendees take this insightful experience into their everyday professions, it was truly incredible to see how seamlessly the independent pharmacy community was able to come together this week and share their inspiring stories. Stay tuned for more insightful content throughout this week from McKesson ideaShare 2024, and be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, from July 10th to July 13th, 2025, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.

Click here to check out more of our coverage from McKesson ideaShare 2024.

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