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Kevin Host delivers first remarks as newly elected NACDS chair

In his first remarks as NACDS chair, Kevin Host talked next generation of pharmacies, and diverse NACDS members’ role in revolutionizing the way people receive care.
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At the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Annual Meeting Business Program, newly elected NACDS Chair Kevin Host urged that industry leaders continue to create, to advocate and to collaborate — so that pharmacies may continue to deliver “never-ending innovations” across the total store for Americans in their moments of need.

Host, senior vice president of pharmacy at Walmart, delivered his remarks following his acceptance of the NACDS chair’s gavel from Mike Wysong, CEO of CARE Pharmacies, who completed his term as NACDS chair.

Host welcomed attendees saying, “I want to thank our board of directors for your selflessness and dedication to our entire industry. So many of you have stood here before and helped pave the road that we are on today. To our sponsors and affiliate members: your collaboration is key. We’ve evolved from providing ice cream and herbal remedies to over-the-counter drugs, nutritional supplements, continuous glucose monitoring, self-testing and more. Together, we are there for what people want — and, more so, what they need. We all care for the same customers and together, no one can do it better.”

He continued with emphasis on the power of association — and NACDS’ unique role as an industry disruptor at this transformative moment for health care and retail.

[Read more: Healthcare industry celebrates, honors NACDS’ 90th anniversary, retail pharmacies]

Host said, “Throughout the years, NACDS has been an industry pioneer, a visionary and a disruptor. It’s an organization that unites the nation's leading pharmacies, and creates a powerful, collective voice which has been instrumental in driving change. From embracing technology to championing initiatives, NACDS has enabled pharmacies to become true healthcare destinations. We’ve seen NACDS pivot, re-invent itself and spearhead change in ways that not many organizations can do. 

“Look around – you are all part of a diverse group — from consumer product goods, pharmacy, tech, service providers and retail. That’s not only a diverse group, it's an influential group. Watching NACDS propel efforts that have a ripple effect on health and wellness in communities all over this country is not only impressive, it’s empowering.”

Host continued by describing pharmacy’s powerful reach – existing within five miles of 90% of Americans – and the importance of elevating pharmacy’s role in revolutionizing the way people receive care by creating the pharmacy of the future.

“In the ever-evolving landscape of health care, pharmacies are well positioned to create transformational experiences over transactional experiences. Pharmacists, armed with their vast clinical knowledge, are now actively involved in patient care offering services such as medication therapy management, immunizations, specialty pharmacy at retail, health screenings and increasingly primary care for flu, COVID-19 and strep throat. This is just the beginning of our journey to create the next generation of pharmacies, where technology and personalized care intersect......through advocacy for NACDS’ priority issues, including pharmacy benefit manager reform and the future of retail health and wellness.

“Over the past three years, approximately 150 new state laws have been enacted which brought about at least some reform to PBM practices. NACDS fully understands that PBM reform is needed to lower prescription drug costs, ensure patient access and protect pharmacies from PBM tactics. Another example of our advocacy is a new campaign that NACDS rolled out this past fall called ‘Nourish My Health,’ a national public education campaign focused on helping Americans embrace the protective health benefits that nutritious food provides,” Host said.

“NACDS is a vibrant marketplace of ideas with cutting-edge strategies for retailers and suppliers alike. Not only am I grateful for other retailers and pharmacy teams – but also for your teams who provide never-ending innovations in drug therapies, over-the-counter medications, and all of the items people are looking for during their moments of need,” Host said.

Lastly, Host said, “We are creating what the next era of pharmacy will look like, and the brushstrokes of our picture will come from creating, advocating and collaborating. I’m excited about how far we can go together, and I hope you are, too. Thank you for your trust, and thank you for being champions of this industry.”

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