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DSN Industry Issues Summit breaks attendance records


NEW YORK — Record-breaking attendance, a high-profile keynote speaker, four engaging panel discussions on some of the hottest issues facing the industry and exclusive consumer videos set the stage for the 13th annual Drug Store News Industry Issues Summit held on Tuesday in New York.

This year’s Drug Store News Industry Issues Summit — the highlight of the New York winter industry events held each year — celebrated record-breaking attendance, attracting more than 30 retailers and 200 industry suppliers. The event was held at the New York Athletic Club.

From its humble beginnings in the late 90s, Industry Issues Summit has evolved from an intimate, closed-door event in the small conference rooms of midtown Manhattan hotels to a must-attend day of education, networking and dialogue, with four separate panel discussions — Health, Wellness and Technology; Diabetes Leadership Forum; Industry Issues Summit; and Specialty Pharmacy Leadership Summit.

This year’s luncheon keynote speaker was former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, a leading voice in the Republican party. During his keynote presentation, Pawlenty, who authored the book “Courage to Stand,” addressed the current political climate, including healthcare reform, taxes, education, the economy and the deficit.

Since his election in 2002, Pawlenty has used innovative and conservative leadership to balance Minnesota’s budget, cut spending, reform healthcare and improve schools without raising taxes. While governor, his healthcare reforms made price and quality more transparent for patients, which led to an overall better standard of care. He also developed MinnesotaCare, a healthcare plan for low-income individuals and families who do not have access to employee-sponsored health insurance.

Setting the tone for this year’s Issues Summit panel discussion were several “Man on the Street” videos whereby Drug Store News editors hit the streets of New York City to speak with consumers about their definition of health and wellness, how their personal wellness needs are changing and product innovation. The videos helped set the table for the Issues Summit discussions.

Meanwhile, retailer and supplier panelists discussed an array of hot-button issues during the various panel discussions. Topics ranged from how retailers and manufacturers are maximizing the convergence of beauty and overall wellness, to the hidden intangible assets that companies can bring to the retailer relationship, to the real value proposition of biosimilars, to the 2012 drivers that will impact specialty pharmacy.

Moderators included Bob Dufour of Blue Ocean Innovative Solutions, who moderated the Health, Wellness and Technology panel; Dave Wendland of Hamacher Resource Group, who moderated the Diabetes Leadership Forum; David Van Howe of MPG Drug and Dan Mack of Swanson Group/Elevation Forum, who moderated the Industry Issues Summit; and Dave Fong of Dave Fong Rx Consulting, who moderated Specialty Pharmacy Leadership Summit.

Retail panelists included:

  • Will Abbott, CVS

  • Mike Agostino, Amber Pharmacy

  • Bill Bergin, Rite Aid

  • Mike Cantrell, Good Neighbor Pharmacy

  • Phil Hagerman, Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy

  • Ken Keelor, Rexall/Katz Group Canada

  • Debbie Krasnow, Giant Eagle

  • Joanne Leonardi, Ahold USA

  • Lee Merritt, MedfusionRx

  • John Musil, The Apothecary Shops

  • Leon Nevers, HEB

  • Craig Norman, HEB

  • Darren O'Neill, Health Mart

  • Jason Reiser, Sam's Club

  • Murali Sastry, BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy

  • Effie Steele, Meijer

  • Ray Tancredi, Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy

  • Robert Tompkins, Walgreens

  • James Weeast, Walgreens

  • Chuck Wilson, McKesson Corp.

  • Michael Wolf, Walgreens

  • Barbara Zamudio, Ulta Beauty

  • Ceci Zeigler, AmerisourceBergen Corp./Good Neighbor Pharmacy

  • Burt Zweigenhaft, OncoMed

Sponsor companies included Armada Health Care, Catalina Marketing, Emdeon, Endo Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, Hyland’s, Kay's Natural, Kony Solutions, MedTravellers, Moonshado, Pacific World, PharmaSmart International, Novo Nordisk, Novartis Consumer Health, NumeralSocial, Pharmavite, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, Red Prairie, SoloHealth, Surveyor Health Co., Tabs Group, Takeda and UltiMed.

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