NACDS SHOW TO FOCUS ON INDUSTRY CHANGES

CHICAGO -- The National Association of Chain Drug Stores' 38th-Annual pharmacy conference, being held this week here, will explore the major changes affecting today's marketplace. Themed "The New Realities of Community Pharmacy Practice," the show is expected to have representation from about 85 chain companies and 200 exhibitors. Total attendance is expected to surpass 1,500. Exhibitors include pharmaceutical

CHICAGO -- The National Association of Chain Drug Stores' 38th-Annual pharmacy conference, being held this week here, will explore the major changes affecting today's marketplace. Themed "The New Realities of Community Pharmacy Practice," the show is expected to have representation from about 85 chain companies and 200 exhibitors. Total attendance is expected to surpass 1,500. Exhibitors include pharmaceutical and over-the-counter manufacturers and distributors, third-party claims administrators and drug wholesalers. The show kicked off yesterday and will run through Aug. 30.

Laura Cranston, NACDS vice president of pharmacy affairs, said the meeting will help supermarket pharmacies better understand their role in the marketplace.

"Supermarket pharmacy is one of the fastest growing segments of the industry. If it's going to continue this rapid growth, it needs to be on the cutting edge," Cranston said.

Among topics to be discussed: physician-pharmacy direct computer link-ups; Pharmacy Benefit Management companies owned by chain corporations, vertical and horizontal integrations in the pharmaceutical manufacturing community and consolidation of the chain drug store industry, disease statement management companies owned by pharmaceutical manufacturers and the growth of managed care. One of two major business programs will feature "An Investor's View of the Future of the Chain Drug Store Industry and Community Practice" and "The New Realities of Electronic Prescription Data Exchange." The second will offer "Evaluating the Legal, Regulatory and Professional Aspects of Incentive and Compliance Programs and "A Look at Patients' Expectations for Pharmacy Services Now and in the Future."

Included in a series of workshops are "Keys to Successfully Developing Niche Markets in the prescription and Non-Prescription Business," "Community Pharmacy Based Disease State Management Programs" and "Tools to Enhance Patient Counseling: A Matter of Law."