(L-R), American Pharmacies members Ashley Seyfarth of NM, Jason Turner of WV and Steve Hoffart of TX joined pharmacist CEO Nicolette Mathey of Atrium 24 to drive a lively panel discussion on "Building Tomorrow's Pharmacy TODAY."
400+ Attend APEX to Talk Change, Evolution of Independent Pharmacy
In a gathering that showcased the triumphs of the present as it waded into the challenges and possibilities of the future, more than 400 pharmacy professionals, vendors, industry experts and guests attended the recent American Pharmacies annual conference in Grapevine, TX.

Held at the majestic Gaylord Texan Resort on the shores of Lake Grapevine, APEX 2022 was built around the theme of "Breaking Through the Barriers to Success." From the opening GNP session to the last CE on Friday, attendees learned how technology is reshaping pharmacy services and operations while pharmacy revenue channels are evolving and diversifying.

In addition to exhibiting and sending 20+ experts and executives to our show, AmerisourceBergen was our premier financial sponsor of the conference.

APEX has arrived as a major multistate event. Attendees flocked to Grapevine from 19 states, some as far as NY, MN and FL.
The conference kicked off Thursday with our traditional foursome scramble golf tournament at the beautiful and challenging Cowboys Golf Club, where 60+ golfers enjoyed the Dallas Cowboys-themed links (R).

Two Thursday afternoon presentations kicked off the classroom activities, The first was an enlightening panel discussion with an array of Good Neighbor Pharmacy experts addressing how GNP's diverse programs and solutions empower pharmacies' success. The second session was a vital presentation on better using the many tools of RxCompass to drive adherence and prescription revenue.

Thursday's activities also included a student forum, vendor presentations by Enliven Health and NOVA, followed by the opening reception under the Gaylord Atrium, sponsored by Transaction Data Systems (TDS).
After a buffet breakfast, Friday's activities kicked off with an eye-opening CE session by Drugstore2Door's A.J. Asgari on how to effectively build an online retail presence. Asgari used some jaw-dropping video to show how technology is rapidly transforming the way Americans communicate -- and shop -- online. Next came a CE session by Atrium 24's Nicolette Mathey (L) on how to grow community relationships and prescription revenue through doctor detailing and marketing. A 30-minute presentation on the APRx MEWA health plan followed.

The action picked back up after lunch with a future-focused CE session "Building Tomorrow's Pharmacy TODAY." The presentation laid out how today's dispensing-based revenue model is breaking down and what technical and practice changes are needed to become a community healthcare destination. A panel of four independent pharmacy innovators (see photo at top of newsletter) shared their insights and advice on transforming pharmacies to better meet evolving patient needs and diversify revenue.
During the afternoon opening general session, keynote speaker Libby Gill (R) delved deeply into the psychology of change and why so many people fear leaving the comfort of the familiar. Gill, whose very first job was clerking at a small-town independent pharmacy, told the audience that fear of change is rooted in humans' fight-or-fight reflex and she challenged them to embrace that fear and transform it into energy and commitment.

Breakout sessions by RxSafe and Liberty Software followed the General Session and led into the three-hour Friday Night Vendor Fair and Reception in a packed Exhibit Hall. Exhibitors were enthusiastic about the layout of the exhibit hall and the amount of interaction they had with our member pharmacists. They reported a very positive experience, driven by the high traffic in the hall.

The Saturday morning Shareholder Meeting included presentations from President Laird Leavoy and staff leaders from operations, marketing and communications, legal and sales, followed by an informal meet-and-greet session with the American Pharmacies Board of Directors.
Afterward, Michael Wright (Left, in glasses), VP of government affairs for American Pharmacies, kicked off a vital CE session on APRX's advocacy involvement in multiple states, its many victories and the ongoing advocacy issues and challenges for independent pharmacy. Wright covered APRx advocacy activities in Texas, New Mexico, Michigan, Arizona, and Tennessee. General Counsel Miguel Rodriguez discussed the impact of federal court decisions on the development, passage and enforcement of PBM reform bills across the country, as well APRx engagement in several court cases. He also discussed other legal issues driving PBM reform and the recent decision of the Federal Trade Commission to investigate PBM activities.

During the session, Wright recognized two APRx members for their vital support of our advocacy efforts in 2022: Shareholder John Gross from Clare, MI (left, who also was honored last year), and Rogers Pharmacies executive John Rogers of Victoria, TX.
After five hours of free time, the APRxPAC reception took center stage with a special guest, Texas State Rep. Tan Parker of Flower Mound, an independent pharmacy supporter and co-sponsor of TPBC's PBM reforms in the 2021 Texas session.

Parker (L in photo at right with APRxPAC member John Hickman of McKinney, TX) told PAC donors that they play a vital role in their Texas communities and their voice is very critical in influencing health-care policy.

"You are respected and counted on in your communities so much and it's just real important that you use your voice and reach out to your elected representatives," Parker said.

The PAC reception also included a drawing for $600 in gift cards. (staff who are PAC donors were not eligible to participate).

After the PAC reception, the Saturday night banquet put a great exclamation point on the conference at the Gaylord's renowned Glass Cactus Night Club. The western-themed Rx Roundup party featured lots of members and families in cowboy/girl regalia and lots of western dancing to the hot sounds of Haywire. The rosy hues of the setting sun over Lake Grapevine enhanced everyone's enjoyment.

American Pharmacies President Laird Leavoy said the high attendance and quality of engagement among members made this APEX stand out.

"It's our biggest conference to date," Leavoy said. "But what made it really special is the engagement and sharing among our attendees -- the members, the exhibitors, the students, the experts from ABC. We had people from all over the country sharing experiences and ideas. That's what APEX is really about and we'll keep working to make it better."
Join us June 15-17, 2023 in San Antonio
Everything is bigger in Texas, especially the sprawling J.W. Marriott Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, the largest J.W. Marriott property in the world! A 20-minute drive north of the airport, this 1,002-room, 600-acre property is nestled in the rustic Cibolo Canyons at the edge of the Texas Hill Country, offering sweeping views of a neighboring 750-acre nature preserve.

Surrounded by majestic oak-covered hills, you can relax and enjoy two pro-quality TPC golf courses, splash the 9-acre water park, visit the world-class spa or just kick back and soak up the elegant Texas ranch ambiance.

Registration with early-bird discounts opens on Jan. 1, 2023.