I'm back in Florida—this time in Orlando for the NCPA Annual Meeting. Some readers may remember the 400-mile, six pharmacy visits in 24 hours I did with NCPA President Hugh Chancy and NCPA staffer Tyler Poirier in early July. A lot has happened since then which is why I think this year's NCPA Annual Convention is happening at the perfect time.
One of the biggest announcements is the class action lawsuit against CVS Health, Caremark, and Aetna by an Iowa pharmacy owner and NCPA member Matt Osterhaus. The law firms that filed the lawsuit have been talking with NCPA for nearly a year, learning more about the industry and fine-tuning their case. This is a major development and one that has been a long time coming. Contract restrictions have prevented making this move before but as PBM business practices have evolved, the lawyers believe now is the time. During the convention, the lawyers from the three law firms will discuss their approach to the case.
But wait! There's more!
The law firms will also discuss a broader legal strategy that all pharmacy owners will want to hear. I can't go into detail here, but pharmacy owners and operators will be given a chance to swing back at the unilateral "take-it or leave-it" PBM contracts that have bound and gagged them for years. The attorneys will then stick around to talk to pharmacy owners and answer their questions in small group sessions. I know it's Friday but it will be worth your while to find a way to come to the 2023 NCPA Annual Convention, if it's only for a day.
For me, the days start early and go late. Caffeine and adrenaline become my best friends for the next several days. But, I look forward to our annual meeting because it attracts the best and brightest pharmacy owners and operators in America. I'm sometimes in awe listening to their stories of innovation and selflessness to take care of patients. Many of these "best of the best" will not only be attending but they will be making presentations, which you can plan to attend with our new agenda builder this year. Real people with real good ideas that are actually working in the real world.
For those missing it this year, put a placeholder on your calendar for the 2024 Annual Convention in Columbus, Ohio (Oct. 26-29). For everyone else, I wish you safe travels and I look forward to seeing you in Orlando tomorrow and over the next several days.
B. Douglas Hoey, Pharmacist, MBA