WASHINGTON -- The Food Marketing Institute here is moving the dates of its annual Supermarket Pharmacy Conference next year to coincide with the association's big May show in Chicago, said Laurie Gethin, senior manager, pharmacy services, FMI, in an exclusive interview. FMI was to announce the change at this year's pharmacy conference this week in Palm Springs, Calif.
The pharmacy event, traditionally held in April, will run May 1-4, 2004, in Chicago, while the FMI Show will run May 2-4, Gethin said.
An overlap day, tentatively scheduled for Sunday, May 2, will allow supermarket pharmacy executives full access to the FMI Show floor, and educational programming, Gethin said. Meanwhile, the FMI Supermarket Pharmacy Conference will maintain its usual business appointment format.
John Fegan, vice president, pharmacy, Ahold USA, Chantilly, Va., said the pharmacy conference's date and location switch is an opportunity for retail supermarket executives to see the value of supermarket pharmacy.
"You have the chance to interact officially with senior executives, and pharmacy executives have the chance to interact with a broader forum. These partnerships have been untapped," he said. "It's good for the pharmacy side of the industry because pharmacy needs the rest of the store around it to enhance its services."