DENVER — This will be the last time I walk an NACDS Marketplace floor. Ever. I’m done.
Because next year, it will be the Total Store Expo, and I’m already getting a little jazzed about that. Here’s my thought process — is there an opportunity in sitting down with a retail pharmacy operation team along with an OTC buying team and exploring possible synergies between the two? Is there a value-add already built into this meeting?
I’ve been talking to quite a few of you on the supplier side. Some of you thought along the same lines (Can it happen?) and some of you perked up to the inherent potential (Will it happen?). And yes, some of you even expressed doubts (Should it happen?).
But I think it should happen. If for nothing else, to raise awareness across pharmacy operations around the full breadth of product offerings available just in front of the pharmacy counter. And with this meeting happening on an annual basis, it also will be an opportunity to inform the pharmacy operations teams on new product launches and line extensions even as they are being sold into the stores.
But I think more would come out of these meetings if the pharmacy and OTC teams sat at the same table, and I think it coincides with the direction that many pharmacy operators already are beginning to take in providing more services and information touch points in front of the pharmacy bench — you know, where the patient lives.
That’s a year away, yet. For now, let me share some snippets around some of the products and suppliers I found interesting making my last walkthroughs on the Marketplace show floor. Ever.
TheraPearl launched a licensed line of its hot and cold packs bearing the NFL Player’s Association seal. This is unique — it will be the only product in the healthcare space that can place the NFLPA symbol on its packaging.
A new company, Cancer in Plain English, featured an audio CD for newly diagnosed cancer patients. The audio was put together by an oncologist — and founder of the company — and provides cancer-specific information to patients in search of answers. Beyond CD sales, I think that could serve as an entry point into the pharmacist as that newly diagnosed cancer patient’s healthcare advocate.
Another new company, UrgentRx, fielded a whole line of flavored OTC remedies in powder formulation. The remedies represent a convenience proposition with only one dose per packet — which is flat — and a value proposition at only $1.39 suggested retail price, as compared with other single-dose OTC remedies.
Great idea for the convenience channel right? Except that’s not how they’re going to market. For example, they have an emergency aspirin dose (325 mg) that’s being carried by emergency medical technicians in 31 states. Beyond the checkstand, it may be a good proposition in sporting goods departments, too.
And Tattoo Goo, over at the Greenwood Group booth, looked interesting, too. It’s an after-care line of products for someone who just got a tattoo. And considering that tattoos today are not as taboo as they once were, this represents an incremental opportunity and a steady trip driver as one of the products is indicated to maintain the color of a tattoo if used regularly. And it sounds like it’s going into first aid sets, which makes a lot of sense. Today, tattoo artists recommend their clients apply a healthy dose of A & D ointment to their new tattoos.
There’s plenty of additional interesting products out there, I’m sure. Any thoughts or comments around the products I identified or around Total Expo meeting synergies, please drop me a line at email@example.com!