As summer approaches, it ushers in more than warm weather. It also brings the highly anticipated conferences hosted by the three titans of the wholesale pharmaceutical industry: McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen.
These conferences are not just meetups. They are vibrant knowledge, networking, and innovation hubs for pharmacy owners, managers, investors, pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. They host a plethora of educational workshops, continuing education programs, and engaging exhibitions starring industry frontrunners like Capsa Healthcare’s Kirby Lester — a notable leader among pharmacy automation developers.
4 Advantages of Wholesaler Conferences in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Conferences organized by pharmaceutical wholesale distributors serve as hotbeds for networking, learning, and innovation. They offer several advantages that significantly impact the industry today, particularly around pharmacy automation systems and workflow automation.
1. Networking Opportunities
Pharmaceutical wholesaler conferences are a prime opportunity for industry professionals from across North America (and even around the world) to network with each other.
Face-to-face interactions at these conferences are crucial catalysts for exposing pharmacy owners and management to new ideas and solutions to heighten their patient care and ultimately drive their business success. Often, technology is the leading driver.
2. Current Industry Trends and Innovations
As the community pharmacy industry constantly evolves, wholesaler conferences often feature expert-led sessions, presentations, and panel discussions that can keep attendees ahead of new developments. If professionals have ever wondered, “Can pharmacy automation help streamline our manual tasks or help redeploy our staff?”, these conferences are the place to get the answer.
“The main reason I attend my wholesaler’s summer tradeshow (and I am being honest here) is for the drug rebate offered for attending. But the second reason is to check out all the new innovations in pharmacy. I love technology, and I refuse to get left behind. So, I will always have my nose into what’s new,” says Joshua Cloyd, PharmD and President at Olde Towne Pharmacy, Jonesborough, TN. For 10 of the last 13 summers, Joshua has attended conferences with different wholesalers and is an AmerisourceBergen customer currently.
3. Educational Opportunities
Wholesaler conferences often host workshops and training sessions where attendees can earn continuing education (CE) credits, get business coaching, keep abreast of state and national regulations, and learn about important government legislative initiatives
that can have huge impacts at the local level.
4. Product Exhibitions and Showcases
Product exhibitions are a fundamental component of the “Big Three” conferences. They represent the annual “Big Stage” for the hosting pharmaceutical wholesaler, where they can effectively showcase their latest services, software, and innovations. The exposition hall has numerous exhibiting companies, each presenting their newest offerings through hands-on demonstrations. Meanwhile, pharmacy owners and managers attending the event seize this invaluable opportunity to:
- Interact with wholesaler and exhibiting partners
- Explore new products, software suites, and pharmacy automation firsthand
- Engage directly with the manufacturers and their technical experts
- Understand how new products could enhance their business and provide new care offerings to their patients
For instance, Capsa’s automation solutions often draw much interest as pharmacy professionals explore how they could enhance efficiency and accuracy, ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes.
“I have noticed that more exhibitors attend every year, which broadens our exposure to products that can help us run our pharmacy. The environment at GNP’s ThoughtSpot is perfect for expanding your mindset on merging new technology with standard pharmacy practices or your existing workflow. If we didn’t attend these summer meetings, we may not have had the opportunity to discover our Kirby Lester counting device and our pharmacy robot. Now, both are essential in our day-to-day operations – I couldn’t imagine running our pharmacy without these two,” says Nic Smith, PharmD and owner of Smith Pharmacy, Little Chute, WI.
Capsa Healthcare and the “Big Three” Pharmaceutical Wholesaler Conferences
The benefit of attending a conference is being exposed to new trends, products, and business improvement ideas, many of which attendees may not have even known existed.
Geoff Dutcher, Capsa’s senior sales manager for the Kirby Lester brand, has witnessed this phenomenon at every conference he has attended. “Pharmacy owners or business managers will pass our exhibit with no intention of stopping. Why? They’re confident their pharmacy doesn’t need anything; they’re all set. But then something catches their eye as our account managers are performing a live demonstration, and it stops them in their tracks. They back up a few steps and start listening to other pharmacy owners asking questions. They join the discussion, and you can almost see the light bulb go off because they just found the perfect solution to a nagging problem in their pharmacy.
“This is especially common when pharmacies have only used the simple Kirby Lester pill counters like the KL15e or the KL1, and then at a conference, they see our next-level KL1Plus device. Don’t get me wrong, the simple Kirby Lester counters perform a needed function of counting accurately with minimal effort and time. But when a pharmacy owner or manager can see the simple counter next to the KL1Plus right there, no comparison! She or he immediately understands that the KL1Plus does so much more and prevents errors in multiple ways. If they didn’t stop by our exhibit, they may never have been exposed to the higher technology.”
The “Big 3” Circuit in 2023 starts with the McKesson ideaShare on June 22-25 in Las Vegas, NV. This dynamic, interactive forum aspires to educate, inspire, and empower individuals within the pharmacy industry. The conference comprises a series of sessions, workshops, and seminars, each catering to address a community pharmacy’s diverse needs.
At the 2023 McKesson ideaShare, we will showcase several of our pharmacy automation solutions:
- Kirby Lester KL1: The pharmacy industry’s smallest, fastest, and simplest tablet counter that fits into even the most crowded pharmacy and narcotics vault. It’s also essential for perpetual inventory software.
- Kirby Lester KL1Plus: A multi-functional tool for any size community pharmacy. It provides computerized scan verification and inventory software to eliminate filling errors and time-consuming manual logs.
- Kirby Lester KL108: A cutting-edge innovation that’s perfect for busy pharmacies with high prescription volumes. This secure vial-filling robot efficiently manages prescription filling via universal cassettes that require no technical calibration. Thus, it virtually eliminates the chance of human error and allows pharmacies to automate 50-60% or more of their daily prescriptions.
Cardinal Health RBC
Next up this summer is Cardinal Health’s Retail Business Conference (RBC) on July 19-22 in Boston, MA. The Cardinal Health RBC equips independent retail pharmacy businesses with the knowledge, resources, and opportunities needed to thrive in a dynamic industry.
Capsa Healthcare will showcase the previously mentioned KLI, KL1Plus, and KL108. We will also display automation systems for pharmacies filling orders for long-term care facilities, including:
- Capsa Medication Carts like Vintage Encore, a furniture-finish medication cart that efficiently manages the daily med pass in senior care facilities.
- Automated Dispensing Cabinets (ADCs), like NexsysADC, manages controlled medications securely, electronic “E-kits,” and STAT/first doses in long-term care homes.
AmerisourceBergen’s Good Neighbor Pharmacy ThoughtSpot Conference
AmerisourceBergen, the third leg of the pharma wholesaler conference circuit, will hold its Good Neighbor Pharmacy (GNP) ThoughtSpot on August 2-5 in Las Vegas, NV.
The ThoughtSpot Conference’s primary purpose is to empower community pharmacies by equipping them with the necessary tools, knowledge, and resources to navigate the increasingly competitive business landscape.
At the product exhibition, Capsa will showcase the same products as the Cardinal Health RBC conference, displaying innovative pharmacy automation systems for community pharmacies and those serving long-term care.
The NACDS Total Store Expo — An Equally Important Summer Conference for Chain Pharmacies
Though it is not a wholesaler conference, the NACDS Total Store Expo holds significant importance in the industry, particularly for chain pharmacies and hospital IDN pharmacies. It also rounds out the traditional summer trade show circuit.
The Total Store Expo — which takes place on August 12-14 in San Diego, CA — helps chain management and executives with educational seminars to enhance clinical operations and business strategies and devoted meeting time with service and product providers like Capsa Healthcare to ensure their pharmacy chain remains on the cutting edge.
At the expo, Capsa will showcase our central filling/ mail order technology dedicated to embracing the ever-growing demand for closed-door prescription filling services.
- RoboPharma Central Filling/ Mail Order Pharmacy Automation systems deliver improved prescription filling efficiency and productivity, dramatic labor and cost reduction, and greater accuracy
- Kirby Lester High Volume Counting Technology automates the counting of the most common medications via a high-capacity universal hopper and pharmacy system interfacing, interfaceable to any new or existing high-volume pharmacy
Stay on the Pulse of the Pharmacy Industry Through Summer Conferences
Whether it’s the McKesson ideaShare, the Cardinal Health RBC, AmerisourceBergen’s GNP ThoughtSpot, or NACDS Total Store Expo, each conference plays a crucial role in shaping the future of the pharmacy industry. They offer valuable networking opportunities, updating you on trends, innovations, and regulations. As a global frontrunner in developing and manufacturing healthcare solutions, Capsa Healthcare continues to play a pivotal role at these conferences, showcasing our adaptable automated solutions suitable for any pharmacy setting. Explore our wide range of conferences and tradeshows to discover even more valuable opportunities. With our innovative offerings behind them, our pharmacy customers can improve workflow efficiency, alleviate staffing burnout, and enhance patient care. We hope to meet you at your upcoming summer conference!