‘A new and transformative era for pharmacy’
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Newly elected NACDS Chair Brian Nightengale addressed retailers and suppliers Tuesday morning, detailing the challenges and opportunities ahead for the industry, and arguing that NACDS is well positioned to be a catalyst for “a new and transformative era for pharmacy.”
Nightengale, who oversees Good Neighbor Pharmacy, a network of over 4300 retail pharmacies nationwide, delivered his remarks at the NACDS Annual Meeting Business Program on Tuesday. He accepted the NACDS Chair’s gavel from Colleen Lindholz, president, Kroger Health, The Kroger Co., who completed her term as NACDS Chair.
A pharmacist by training, Nightengale began his career “moonlighting in both independent and chain pharmacies” — developing through those experiences “a passion for the profession and for serving the community as a pharmacist.”
Nightengale noted the ways in which retail pharmacies and suppliers stepped up to serve the nation — innovating boldly and making the decisions necessary to deliver a new level of care and service to their communities.
“I think it is safe to say that the American public now has a whole new appreciation for the important role that retail pharmacies play in meeting their health and wellness needs,” Nightengale said.
“I want to thank our associate member companies and the supplier community as a whole, for your partnership and support. Throughout this pandemic, you helped to ensure that we continued to have access to the products and services we rely on, and in many ways, altered the way you do business to ensure continuity across the supply chain. The magnitude of this industry-wide response is simply incredible when you look back at everything that has been accomplished over the past two years.”
Nightengale went on to describe pharmacies’ clear and vital role in the healthcare ecosystem — and the critical need to shape the future of pharmacy so that Americans maintain access to pharmacist-provided care services in times of emergency and every day. These topics were also discussed during Sunday’s Annual Meeting Business Program.
“Retail pharmacy is the most accessible site of care in the U.S.,” Nightengale said. “We have the potential to empower consumers with total health and wellness solutions. Yet, while retail pharmacy has shined on the national stage, rapidly evolving market dynamics — some old, some new — must be addressed for us to be able to truly deliver on the full value that we can provide as America’s most accessible health and wellness destinations.
“These dynamics provide genuine opportunities for our companies and our industry to transform itself into something greater — something that we’ve already proven possible throughout the pandemic — that as the most accessible, most trusted and most affordable healthcare destination in America we can and should have an expanded role within the health and wellness ecosystem within this country.”
He also detailed NACDS’ role as the “strong catalyst for transformation:”
“NACDS has always given its members a platform to be ‘the face of neighborhood healthcare’ and now, perhaps more than ever, NACDS plays an even greater role in helping our industry navigate the challenges of today and capitalize on the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Nightengale also emphasized NACDS’ key priorities for the year, which will continue to include:
- Working to ensure fair and adequate pharmacy reimbursement “for the products we dispense and the care services we provide;”
- Expanding patients’ access to pharmacy-based care services “by leveraging the lessons learned and the undeniable impact our profession has had during this pandemic;”
- Ensuring that NACDS continues to serve members well into the future, “think[ing] creatively about the future role that NACDS members — and thus NACDS — should play in the total health and wellness journey of all Americans;”
- Maximizing the return to in-person meetings and conferences so that members have the opportunity to collaborate and build the future of the industry.
“As we emerge from the pandemic and march onward toward the 90th anniversary of NACDS next year, we’re on the verge of permanently redefining how we serve our patients and consumers,” Nightengale said. “But for that to happen, we must act, and that time is now.”
Tuesday’s Business Program also included remarks by former defense secretary, Dr. Mark Esper.
Dan Figus, vice president, U.S. chief customer officer, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, also spoke, and Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health supported the morning’s Business Program. Similarly, Lisa Paley, head, U.S. and North America, GSK Consumer Healthcare, spoke during Sunday morning’s Business Program, which was supported by GSK Consumer Healthcare.