WASHINGTON, DC — February 26, 2003 — Operational efficiencies, a prescription drug benefit for seniors, consumer health concerns and pharmacy residency programs are some of the key issues that will be addressed at the 2003 Supermarket Pharmacy Conference. Hosted by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the conference will be held April 13-15, at the Wyndham Palm Springs, Palm Springs, CA.

“Because of their unique setting, supermarket pharmacies can provide consumers with the value-added benefit of promoting a healthy lifestyle,” said Gary Smith, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., and the 2003 conference chair. “Supermarkets have become consumers’ most accessible one-stop source for prescriptions, over-the-counter products, fresh foods and health-related products and information.”

Led by “Supermarket Guru” Phil Lempert, the opening session will present an insightful look at today’s consumers and factors that may influence the way food retailers manage their pharmacy operations in the future. Lempert will explore consumer shopping trends and behaviors, and the effect of shoppers’ health concerns on purchasing habits and in-store traffic flow.

Other workshops and general sessions include:

  • Solutions for an Efficient Pharmacy: How to Assess and Meet Your Technology Needs — Wayne Caverly, director, customer engineering and patient safety, McKesson APS, will explore how to analyze pharmacy technology needs, work effectively with technology suppliers and select viable options to meet corporate goals.
  • Effective Inventory Management — Industry experts will share successful initiatives from the wholesaler and retailer perspectives and provide ideas to more efficiently manage inventory.
  • Creating a Branded Retail Environment — How does a company become a leading retail “brand” in their trading area? Kevin Kelley of Shook Design Group, a pioneer in the emerging field of perception design, will look at how store design, product selection, staff training and customer service combine to be the driving force behind brand identity.
  • Community Pharmacy Residency Programs: Exploring the Opportunities for Developing a Program in Your Company — Representatives from the American Pharmaceutical Association, Ukrops Supermarkets, and Virginia Commonwealth University will discuss how to develop and implement a community pharmacy residency program. Specifics include creating a business plan to initiate a program, getting started, how to effectively administer the program, and the benefits for the company and its college of pharmacy partners.
  • Patient Care in a Diverse Society: Tools for Your Pharmacists — Participants in this session will learn about cultural implications that drive health and wellness, and gain insight into what changes can be made to better serve a diverse population.

With the U.S. Congress pondering key health care legislation, a special session on Monday morning, April 14, will address the issue of prescription drug benefits for seniors. Chris Jennings, senior health policy advisor to the President during the Clinton Administration, will provide an update on federal efforts to reform Medicare and expand seniors’ access to medications. Various approaches to providing prescription benefits (and their impact on retail pharmacy) will be reviewed, including discount cards, a PBM-based model and a universal benefit plan.

The conference will close with a general session entitled The FISH! Philosophy: Creating Energy and Passion at Work. Storyteller Carr Hagerman will introduce the power of the Fish! Philosophy and discuss how sectors as diverse as health care, retail, manufacturing, banking, hotels and universities are using the philosophy to create a positive workplace environment.

Interactive Idea Exchanges, Expanded Business Appointment Hours, New Golf Tournament and Opening Reception Provide More Networking Opportunities

The 2003 conference will feature two business appointment sessions on consecutive days, allowing attendees valuable time to conduct brief business meetings with a variety of business partners. In addition, a limited number of suites are available for suppliers that want an alternative meeting venue.

The conference will again feature ideas exchanges, small, interactive discussion groups that allow attendees to share strategies on operational issues. Scheduled topics include HIPAA compliance, quality assurance and improving generic drug utilization. The Idea Exchanges will be held
7:30 – 9:00 a.m. each morning over breakfast.

For the first time, FMI will host a golf tournament to allow for informal networking time among key decision-makers in the pharmacy industry. The 18-hole, four-person scramble tournament will take place Saturday, April 12, at the Cimarron Golf Resort.

“FMI’s Supermarket Pharmacy Conference provides pharmacy executives a unique forum to discuss high-impact issues and explore ways to meet the challenges facing the industry today. It is also an excellent opportunity to meet with trading partners in an atmosphere where both parties are committed to improving supermarket pharmacy operations.”

To register for the 2003 Supermarket Pharmacy Conference ($650 FMI members, $935 associate members, $1,100 nonmembers), or for additional information, please contact Laurie Gethin (202-220-0715, lgethin@fmi.org) or visit the FMI Web site at www.fmi.org.