Skip to main content

NACDS lays down gauntlet against PBM lobby at Regional Chain Conference


NAPLES, Fla. — In the five years since he has led the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, president and CEO Steve Anderson has operated under a sound policy; so simple, it is the advice he gives his own children: “We don’t start any fights — but we sure are going to finish them.” On Monday, Anderson and NACDS chairman Bob Loeffler, who also serves as H-E-B chief administrative officer, told NACDS Regional Chain Conference attendees here, that now they are going to take that fight to the PBM lobby.

NACDS used the meeting to introduce the PBM threat as a new, third pillar to the critical policy issues it currently faces along with Medicaid AMP rule legislation and MTM reimbursement.

“Increased rancor on the part of the PBMs is accompanied by a damaging array of PBM practices, all of which you personally know too well,” Loeffler noted. “Let me throw out just a few and see if they sound familiar to you: lack of transparency; the frequency or should I say infrequency of updating MAC [maximum allowable cost] pricing; more margin compression each year; restricted networks; unreasonable and capricious audit rules; use of our patients’ data; blatant conflicts of interest including converting your patients to mandatory mail order; in short, topics that threaten the sustainability of many in this room, and that threaten the access and cost of care to the patients we serve.”

Anderson and Loeffler drew Regional Chain Conference attendees’ attention a recent series of ads funded by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association that ask readers to choose between denying a fictitious child named “Maggie’s medications,” or cutting “pharmacy overpayments,” another fiction. “Raise your hands if you’ve ever had any pharmacy overpayments,” Loeffler said. In addition, to running its own ads that tell the industry’s simple story, “Pharmacies. The face of neighborhood health care,” Anderson and Loeffler also urged attendees to participate in its Rx Impact Day meetings next month.

“If you can envision the possibility of your company being pushed off the edge of a cliff, as a result of policies that aren’t right and that jeopardize patient care, then you need to be with us in Washington, D.C., on March 21 and 22,” said NACDS chairman of the board Bob Loeffler of H-E-B. Loeffler referred to NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill, which will be held in Washington, D.C., on those dates.

Anderson promised to tell the story of community pharmacy as a “disruptive innovator,” borrowing the concept first advanced by Harvard Business professor and author Clayton Christensen, which also inspired the work of the late Steve Jobs at Apple, he said. Pharmacy is providing innovations that are creating new methods of healthcare delivery and that are lowering healthcare costs, he explained.

“If we position community pharmacy effectively as the face of neighborhood health care, this industry will emerge as a disruptive innovator and will create a positive long-term impact on healthcare delivery and for the good of patients. But we cannot just sit back and let that happen; we have to get out and fight for it,” Anderson said.

Interested in this topic? Sign up for our weekly Collaborative Care e-newsletter.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds