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Longs debuts OTC assistance kiosk in stores

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. Longs Drug has launched a new in-store merchandising program that helps shoppers find the right over-the-counter medication for the problem they need to treat.

Longs launched PHARMAssist in 140 stores this week after testing the system in a handful of stores for nearly a year. The interactive, touch-screen kiosk is located in the OTC aisle and prompts consumers to answer questions about the health problem they need to treat and provides a list of medications that best address their needs.

“Our customers are faced with a wide variety of over-the-counter product choices,” said Larry Gatta, chief marketing officer for Longs. “They want an interactive solution that recommends and finds exactly what they need. [PHARMAssist] makes it easy and that is our number one priority.”

Evincii, a California-based software company that created PHARMAssist, said an average of 15 percent to 18 percent of OTC shoppers use the system on a daily basis in Longs stores. Evincii chief executive officer Charles Koo said the company is in talks with other retailers interested in using the system in their stores.

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