During the recent NACDS Annual Meeting Business Program, Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, NACDS president and CEO, remarked, “NACDS is working on some of the most significant issues of our day.” Anderson added, “It’s not enough to work the issues. We need to aggressively wage campaigns—vigorous campaigns, that target those things that matter most.”

The main issues confronting the profession, he said, include opioid-abuse prevention, relief from direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees, fair pharmacy reimbursement, and enhancing pharmacies’ scope of business. Anderson stated, “It’s a tremendous credit to the NACDS Board of Directors that this organization, your Association, is intensely committed to positive change.”

“The campaigns bring a new approach,” he said. “It’s an even more sophisticated way to set the strategy, to ‘white-board’ everything NACDS does, to engage the membership, to lead the team, and to measure the results.”

In addition, Anderson pointed out the connectedness of the various campaigns: “Even if DIR fees were gone as of this moment, we would need to remain vigilant against any new tactics that are just DIR in disguise, threatening pharmacies, and needlessly inflating patients’ costs. We need to keep focused on this fact—relief from DIR fees is one part of the reimbursement issue. It’s a critical part, but it’s one part. That’s where the broader NACDS reimbursement campaign comes in, and the NACDS scope of business campaign. They are tied together.”

During an NACDS Board of Directors meeting in March in Washington, D.C., Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said, “I want to put the pharmacist at the center of healthcare.” This, Anderson recalled, led to a detailed discussion of the NACDS’ Access Agenda: defending pharmacies, empowering them to do even more for patients, and recognizing their work as a working partner on opioid-abuse prevention, reducing prescription drug costs, and other issues. “This is the stuff history can be made of,” Anderson noted.

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