The Total Store Expo of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) was held from Aug. 25 to 27 in Denver and attracted approximately 4,500 participants from around the world, including individuals associated with national and regional traditional drug stores, supermarkets, and mass merchants, as well as drug store chain suppliers. The conference highlighted the latest innovations in consumer packaged goods, store/pharmacy technology, pharmaceutical products entering the market, and the most up to date information on state-of-the-art pharmacy operations, practice and clinical issues, and distribution and marketing.
Remarks from NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, during the Expo’s opening session, focused on issues that retail drug store chains may face, including the tariffs being imposed by our nation and potential retaliation by our trading partners.
“This trade dispute has already involved tariffs on billions of dollars of goods, and has targeted hundreds of billions of dollars more. The emerging trade war is on the minds of those doing business here at the Total Store Expo, and on the minds of consumers. Diverse products, packaging, and equipment already are being affected. And more items are being added to the tariff list. There are increased freight costs, too,” Anderson said during the session. “This matters to the entire supply chain. Think about it. It affects the products on store shelves. It affects the process of getting those products to the shelves. And it even affects the shelves themselves, given rising steel costs.”
A survey that the NACDS had conducted by Morning Consult, a polling and media company, focused on the city of Denver and found that 65 percent of residents were concerned about retaliatory tariffs imposed on the United States by other countries, while only 23 percent said they were not worried. In addition, most were concerned about price increases, especially for health care products, and job losses.
Also during the opening session, NACDS Chairman of the Board Mark Panzer, Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Health & Wellness at Albertsons Companies, discussed direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees, preserving patient access through appropriate pharmacy reimbursement, expanding pharmacy’s scope of practice, and serving as part of the solution on the opioid abuse epidemic. He also focused on progress on the “Access Agenda,” which involves playing aggressive offense and tough defense on pressing issues, while serving as a working partner for stronger and safer communities.