2016 Retreat Wrap-up

 

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   Bill Moore (C) with State Rep. Todd Hunter (L) and TPBC Executive Director  Michael Wright.

A Record 350+ Energize Event; Bill Moore is the Star

A record 350+ pharmacists, exhibitors, students, family members and guests attended our recent 2016 Shareholder Retreat at La Cantera Resort in San Antonio, highlighted by a moving ceremony honoring shareholder Bill Moore of Sinton for his 60+ years of stellar service to his profession and patients.

The beautiful La Cantera property, which couples a luxury feel with breathtaking views of the Hill Country and San Antonio skyline, was a huge hit with attendees, which included more than 150 independent pharmacists. The tremendous feedback on the venue validates our decision to hold next year's Retreat there on June 8-10, 2016.

The family-friendly move from a September date to early June sparked greater attendance and more excitement from the crowds of enthused kids and guests. It was by far the biggest Retreat ever for APRx and easily the most energetic.

During the three-day event attendees enjoyed golf, fine dining, three receptions, five CE sessions, a shareholders meeting, a legislative update, an exhibit hall with 25 vendors, lunch with exhibitors and a concluding banquet with a DJ and photo booth. There was frequent use of La Cantera's free shuttles to nearby golf courses, the Shops at La Cantera and Fiesta Texas.

The large number of families raised the energy level and resulted in new friendships among shareholder families.

"This year's event really hit on all cylinders," APRx President Mike Gohlke said. "The facilities, food and hotel staff were excellent and our team delivered programs with real impact for our members. I got so many compliments and kudos from our gsts, and I am confident we will see a lot of returning families at next year's event."

HONORING A TEXAS ICON

Uploaded via media manager.In a moving ceremony held Saturday morning at the start of the 2016 Legislative Update, State Rep. Todd Hunter of Corpus Christi and TPBC Executive Director Michael Wright presented TPBC Board member Bill Moore with TPBC's Distinguished Service Award for his tremendous contributions to advocacy for his profession and patients.

"I am truly honored to receive this -- I can't tell you how much it means to me," Moore said in his acceptance remarks.

Hunter commended Moore for his dedication to independent pharmacy, his profession and the welfare of his patents. The powerful chairman of the House Calendars Committee has a close relationship with Moore and greatly values his input, as does Wright.

Both Hunter and Moore strongly urged the pharmacist attendees to stay in regular touch with their legislators on important pharmacy issues.

"You have got to stand up for your profession and your business," Moore affirmed. "If you don't speak up then others will get their attention and influence the decisions."

"Bill Moore has been a major advocacy leader for Texas independents for decades," Wright said. "He wrote the book on how to effectively represent your profession by building strong ties with legislators. He is truly one of a kind and we are fortunate to have him on our team."

Moore has owned and operated Moore's Pharmacy in Sinton since 1965. He is a past president and board member of Texas Pharmacy Association, and past chairman of the Academy of Independent Pharmacists. He has testified multiple times before the Texas Legislature and the State Board of Pharmacy, and has made trips to Washington to meet with members of Congress. He was instrumental in the passage of TPBC's audit reform bill, HB 1358, in the 2013 session. He is frequently invited to speak to pharmacy students across the state.

Sunny Skies & a Lush Course Welcome 64 GolfersUploaded via media manager.

Mother Nature graced our 2016 golf tournament with partly cloudy skies, mild winds and temperatures around 90. That was the right recipe for 64 golfers on the scenic Arnold Palmer Course, which sprawls across majestic limestone canyons near the hotel. The heavy May rains left the course in lush condition with thick fairways and flowing creeks.

The wining foursome was APRx Board members Mike Muecke and Bruce Rogers, Rich Bukovinsky of FDS and Steve Hendrickson of AmerisourceBergen.

$100 prizes for closest to the hole on the par 3s were won by Mike McCarty of AmerisourceBergen, Rob Anderson of Synergy Medical, and APRx Shareholders Russell Pelzel and John Hickman. Guest pharmacist Rosario Valadez and Shareholder Garth Hinze snagged $100 gift cards for uncorking the longest drives.

Legislative Update Covers TPBC, New Mexico Activities

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Michael Wright of TPBC

Michael Wright gave an update on the advocacy activities of TPBC and the challenges Texas independent pharmacy faces in next year's 2017 session. Wright stressed that that lagging state revenues from continuing low oil prices mean state spending will be even leaner.

Major issues looming for the session include the opioid crisis and the PMP monitoring program, possible attempts to roll back or weaken TPBC's transaction fee ban passed in 2015 and expected attempts to change the basis of Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement from MAC to NADAC.

During audience questions on the NADAC issue TPBC staff told pharmacists in the room that NADAC-based reimbursement often includes mandatory disclosure to PBMs of a drug's actual net acquisition cost, including all incentives and rebates -- knowledge that gives PBMs stronger leverage for lowering reimbursements across all networks. Wright said. TPBC continues to

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David Lansford of NMPBC

monitor NADAC and other reimbursement models, while seeking input from NCPA and other states prior to the 2017 session.

Wright, TPBC staff and APRx Board member Vance Oglesbee urged attendees during the legislative update and the earlier Shareholder Meeting to support APRxPAC, used by TPBC to support its legislative goals in Texas. The effort produced several new PAC contributors and a total increase in annual support of more than $20,000.

Shareholder pharmacist David Lansford, chairman of the New Mexico Pharmacy Business Council board, gave an update on NMPBC's activities and goals, outlining the group's significant progress since its creation in December 2015. NMPBC held its second board meeting during the Retreat and will meet again in a few months.

Lansford said NMPBC lobbyist Minda McGonagle is actively engaged with the New Mexico insurance commissioner to facilitate the agency's implementation of MAC transparency reforms and their enforcement with PBMs. He said the group also has largely finalized its legislative agenda for the 2017 New Mexico session. NMPBC also sponsored an advocacy reception at the New Mexico State Pharmacists Association's Mid-Winter Meeting in January and hosted an April fundraising luncheon for NM State Rep.Terry McMillan, a physician who chairs the House Health Committee.

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(L-R) Judy Pritchard, UH Pharmacy Dean Lamar Pritchard, UT
Pharmacy Dean Lynn Crismon.

VIPs Give Retreat Elite Touch

APRx was graced by the attendance of several notable guests, including a powerful state legislator, three of the state's pharmacy college deans and several high-ranking executives from AmerisourceBergen. The notable attendees included:

  • State Rep. Todd Hunter, chair of the House Calendars Committee
  • Dean Lynn Crismon on the University of Texas College of Pharmacy
  • Dean Lamar Pritchard of the University of Houston College of Pharmacy
  • Dean Arcelia Johnson-Fannin of the UIW Feik School of Pharmacy
  • Steve Hendrickson, Senior Vice President of Sales for Community & Specialty Pharmacy at AmerisourceBergen
  • Deanna Bush, VP of Field Sales, Community & Specialty Pharmacy at AmerisourceBergen
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LEFT: Business Coach Mike McCarty (R) gives pointers to Shareholders (L-R) John Blomgren of Nicoma Park, OK; Luis Martinez of Laredo & Nick Harrell of Kingsville. RIGHT: Beth Lea, national director of the Elevate network, gives audit advice.

CE, Breakout Sessions Tune In to Independent Issues

Five CE sessions and special breakout sessions conducted by AmerisourceBergen executives gave attendees the independent pharmacy focus that is often missing at other pharmacy events. Several attendees said the CE lineup was the best package of independent pharmacy CE they had seen in one location. The five sessions on Thursday and Friday covered:

  • Pharmacy Crime & Security
  • Driving Business & Adherence with Websites & Social Media
  • Boosting Front-End Effectiveness & Sales
  • Increasing Revenue with Clinical Services
  • An Inside Look at Preferred Networks & Reimbursement

After the Exhibitors' Lunch on Saturday, AmerisourceBergen leaders conducted rotating breakout sessions on the Elevate Network & Reconciliation, Front End & Signage, Pharmacy Audits and Business Coaching. Shareholders & guest pharmacists got an overview of AmerisourceBergen programs and available resources, as well as first-hand advice in many cases. The Elevate session was conducted by Managed Care Director Tim Jones; the audit session by Beth Lea, national director of the Elevate network; the front end/signage session by Jim Beck, senior director of category management; and the business coaching session by Jennifer Zilka -- national director of Business coaching -- and coaches Danny Nelson and Mike McCarty.

APRx is very appreciative of having such high-ranking leaders from AmerisourceBergen conduct the sessions, which repeated every 20 minutes.

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Board Member Vance Oglesbee of Fairfield answers a question as Director Joe Ochoa listens.

Staff Updates, Board Q&As Drive Shareholder Meeting

APRx shareholders had their annual meeting Saturday morning. The two-hour breakfast meeting included key updates from senior staff leaders and had a chance to ask questions and provide input to the entire Board of Directors in a 30-minute Q&A session.

Laird Leavoy, Senior VP of Sales & Operations, kicked off the meeting with an overview of APRx's tremendous growth and its many new activities and initiatives. General Counsel Amanda Fields followed with a presentation of APRx's legal activities and services, followed by an overview of marketing/communications activities and priorities delivered by Chuck Waters, director of marketing communications and member services. John Cooper, VP of sourcing & consulting services, concluded the staff presentations with a detailed overview of the APRx generics purchasing plan.

During the Board Q&A session, the directors stressed APRx's commitment to deliver maximum economic value to its members, pointing out the record levels of annual rebates we have paid shareholders the last two years while passing 94% of all income back to members.