NACDS regional conference’s 2nd day focuses on health, wellness trends

Panelists discussed health and wellness innovation, the Nourish My Health public education campaign and pharmacy’s role in value-based care, among other topics.
nacds speakers
Jackie Morse, Holly Freishstat, Angie Nelson and Ronit Ridber

The 2024 National Association of Chain Drug Stores Regional Chain Conference continued with presentations from speakers addressing timely issues facing the industry. 

Featured topics included health and wellness innovation; the Nourish My Health public education campaign; pharmacy’s role in value-based care; pharmaceutical trends and forecasts; artificial intelligence; shoppers’ priorities; reimbursement reform; the Drug Supply Chain Security Act; Drug Enforcement Administration topics; and trends in employment law. 

“A major theme on display at this year’s Regional Chain Conference is the industry’s priority focus on delivering the pharmacy and the health and wellness destination of tomorrow. We appreciate the enthusiasm of the membership, the introductions and idea-sharing on topics that involve the ‘total store for the total person,’ and we look forward to the entire 2024 calendar of NACDS events. I also want to thank the suppliers, the 48 Strategic Partners who are here and who are at the core of NACDS as we build pharmacy’s future,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. 

[Read more: NACDS regional chain conference highlights policy battles, accelerated innovation]

Notably, 2024 Regional Chain Conference speakers included:

  • Jackie Morse, group vice president, pharmacy, Meijer and 2024 Regional Chain Conference chair; 
  • Holly Freishstat, senior director, feeding change, Milken Institute; 
  • Angie Nelson, PharmD, senior vice president, pharmacy, Hy-Vee; 
  • Ronit Ridberg, research assistant professor, Tufts University; and 
  • Kayla McFeely, PharmD, senior director, pharmacy care and health and wellness programs.

The panel explored ways in which pharmacies are leading positive transformation in health care. In addition, Leon Nevers, senior director, procurement and business development, H-E-B, discussed the Drug Supply Chain Security Act and how the industry is working through the process to comply with the law and other learnings. 

Wendy Liebmann
Wendy Liebmann

Scott Biggs, director of supplier services at IQVIA, and Doug Long, vice president of industry relations at IQVIA, shared the most up-to-date industry data on pharmaceutical trends, issues and forecasts for 2024 and beyond. 

Kate Davidson, director, learning and diffusion group, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, and Justin Heiser, president and CEO of Thrifty White Pharmacy, delivered a presentation on the evolving value-based care landscape—including opportunities for pharmacies to engage and align with the strategy. 

Wendy Liebmann, founder, CEO and chief shopper, WSL Strategic Retail, shared the latest shopper and retail insights that reveal both opportunities and roadblocks for the future. 

Todd Huseby, partner, Americas Consumer Healthcare Lead, Kearney, who discussed the potential challenges and ethical considerations surrounding the role of generative AI in the future of retail and health care.

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

Deborah Kelly, partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, provided updates on changes in the 2023 workplace, the greatest litigation risks and how to minimize them; and Dominic Johnson, staff coordinator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and Kevin Nicholson, NACDS’ vice president, public policy, regulatory and legal affairs, shared an overview of DEA policy changes and developments relevant to chain pharmacy operations and compliance.

Huseby, Kelly and Katie Thomas, lead, Kearney Consumer Institute, Kearney, also led a roundtable discussion on the retail pharmacy business, consumer sentiment and the workplace. 

Additionally, Michael Ayotte, NACDS’ senior vice president, pharmacy, transformation and advocacy; Christie Boutte, NACDS’ senior vice president, reimbursement, innovation and advocacy; and Chris Krese, NACDS’ senior vice president, congressional relations and communications, briefed attendees on priority federal and state issues in 2024, including PBM reform, reimbursement, scope of practice and health and wellness innovation.

A principal feature of Tuesday’s programming was the One-to-One Business Conferences – a highly popular aspect of the schedule that fosters collaboration among NACDS chain and associate members and which sets the standard for NACDS meetings and conferences.

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