Special Reports

Executives from Boiron, Quigley and Hyland's discussed the success of homeopathic remedies at mass retail, consumer and practitioner education around homeopathy, and how the safety and efficacy concerns surrounding allopathic cough-cold medicines have impacted the homeopathic sector.

Drug Store News realized a long time ago that the retail pharmacy business is a whole lot bigger than just the pure-play drug channel. It’s food, drug, mass and independents, public companies and private companies alike. It’s anywhere in America there is a pharmacy counter operating in a retail environment. That is the way that DSN defines retail pharmacy in 2010. In the pages that follow, DSN’s editors profile the Top 50 pharmacy retailers in America, measuring all of these very different...

In today's consumer-driven healthcare environment, simply satisfying a patient is not enough; patients want to feel a personal connection. They want to be engaged. This fact has not gone unnoticed at Take Care Health Systems and, judging by the results of a recent Gallup survey, the clinic operator is taking the patient experience to a whole new level and paving the way for improved patient outcomes.

Leading retail pharmacy executives from Rite Aid, H-E-B, Kmart, Kerr Drug, Health Mart and Giant Eagle, as well as a select group of suppliers, met in New York City in December 2009 for Drug Store News' 7th annual Diabetes Roundtable to discuss the diabetes epidemic and the solutions retail pharmacy can provide.

Executives from H-E-B, Kerr Drug and Fruth Pharmacy, as well as OTC suppliers, discussed the issues in OTC aisles in a sluggish economy; and as the category faces a shift to wellness care, the possible demise of FSA accounts and an increasing Rx-to-OTC switch market.

Like small but seaworthy vessels caught in a storm alongside much bigger oceangoing ships, the nation's independent pharmacies took on some water in the trying times of late 2008 and 2009. But in the face of economic upheaval, continuing attacks on gross margins and daunting competition from ever-larger pharmacy chains, most have ridden out the squalls.

By all accounts, it’s been a very busy first half of the season for cough-cold manufacturers, even though the 52-week comparable period is only showing a 1.9% lift in overall sales across food, drug and mass (minus Walmart) for the period ended Jan. 24, according to Information Resources Inc. data. For the 2009-2010 season, the weekly percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness peaked at the end of October 2009 at 7.7%, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported....

As many baby boomers become caregivers, retail pharmacy has responded with a greater focus on durable medical equipment; Carex Health Brands has revamped its online presence at Carex.com in an effort to appeal to more caregivers; and complete wireless management of health conditions through such products as blood glucose meters, blood pressure monitors, weight scales and pedometers moved on step closer to reality at the beginning of the year with the Continua Health Alliance's announcement...

You could say Walgreens has been training for this moment for the last 18 months. Now, regardless of what happens with the economy, health care or any number of external forces that challenge today's business of retail pharmacy, Walgreens believes it has a solution for payers and patients.

It's as if they have some kind of special crystal ball that reveals secrets about the customer and what she envisions a drug store should look, feel and shop like. Some people just get it; they see things the rest of us don't. Or, as one supplier told Drug Store News in describing a retailer profiled in the report that follows, they think in 3-D.