January 10, 2013

If you are like a lot of people, hanging a new calendar has inspired you to embrace new beginnings and experimentation. Every January morning begins with plans to put insights into action.

December 19, 2012

The vast majority of product launches, reorganizations, mergers and improvement initiatives either fail or grossly disappoint. In all, roughly 90% of major projects violate their own schedule, budget or quality standards.

December 11, 2012

E-prescribing offers many well-known benefits to physicians, pharmacists and patients alike. Beyond the well-known patient benefits, real-time transactions with automated requests and responses promise to create efficiencies by speeding the medication ordering process, reducing or eliminating the back-and-forth communications between pharmacists and clinicians commonly associated with handwritten prescriptions.

November 29, 2012

The economy continues to be the single largest influencer in the growth of the health, beauty and wellness industry. The annual inflation rate has averaged just more than 2% during the past five years.

November 21, 2012

Each year, we say goodbye to the current year and welcome in the New Year full of hope and aspirations for a successful year ahead. Customers turn out in droves for “New Year, New You” specials and when they reach the register, the retail pharmacy world knows the scenario quite well.

November 5, 2012

Products often fail before they ever find their way to market. Because our firm reviews more than 2,500 new health, beauty and wellness products, and sees approximately 13,000 packaging changes and line extensions annually, I’ve seen this firsthand.

September 25, 2012

There is no doubt about it. Pharmacy audits can be time consuming and laborious for all parties involved. And as both government and commercial money gets tighter and tighter, all of health care is searching for the most effective means to manage the financial challenges associated with doing business.

September 7, 2012

User engagement is critical to driving brand loyalty. Mobile gaming can offer a unique perspective on how consumer packaged goods firms can engage their consumers.

July 11, 2012

Social media is an important component of ongoing brand marketing, as well as any advertising campaign for a drug store retailer or brand. Integrated communications have the most impact because earned, owned and paid media reinforce and amplify the message. All channels feed off each other; the more frequently a potential customer sees or hears about a brand or retailer, particularly in more than one context or venue, the more likely she is to remember and purchase.

July 5, 2012

Remember when retail transactions were completed based only on the assortment found within the confines of a brick-and-mortar store? Truth is, we may never return to those days.

July 5, 2012

As states grapple with tight budgets, rising Medicaid costs and the anticipated expansion of Medicaid following the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, policymakers should consider how community pharmacists can help reduce expenses. In addition, new evidence offers a fresh reminder of the perils of managed care in Medicaid and the need for proper oversight of managed care entities.

June 12, 2012

It’s an underappreciated fact that advertising drives store sales. Many marketers don’t appreciate just how critical it is. Here’s a secret: The “closer” to the store the advertising is, the more likely it is that retailers will see a direct correlation between advertising and sales.

June 5, 2012

For both brands and retailers, media is key to introduce a brand or product and ensure it flies off a retailer’s store shelves. The facts are these: Brands need media to let customers know they exist.

May 1, 2012

In conducting research on how consumer packaged goods (CPG) and food and beverage companies can better work with retail partners to develop effective mobile marketing strategies, we recognized an opportunity for marketers to focus on the Hispanic population. With a growth rate more than four times that of the entire country and an expected 2015 purchasing power well in excess of $1.25 trillion, the U.S. Hispanic population is one of the most important consumer segments for CPG and food and beverage companies.

April 22, 2012

Your store may be turning off potential customers without your even knowing it. Plenty of fully functional stores have this problem. How can you be sure yours isn’t one of them?

April 13, 2012

The Emdeon team always looks forward to the NCPDP Annual Conference. The 2012 version is coming up in early May at the Arizona Biltmore. As expected, NCPDP has done an excellent job in scheduling a large number of important and interesting topics.

March 27, 2012

Recently during one of our Elevation Forum meetings, we asked the question: which competitors do you worry about the most? Many of the leaders in the room listed either the largest or the fastest growing competitors they compete against. But one honest executive shared a provocative reflection. He said we are not as worried about who’s outside, but more focused on the enemy in the mirror.

February 23, 2012

In its early days, social media meant "connecting with people." That’s still what it’s mostly about. But obviously, we’ve come a long way from those now prehistoric list-servs where we simply posted messages back-and-forth with people of similar interests and pursuits. It’s still about connecting. But now organizations use it for targeted marketing purposes, where once social media was considered the protected domain of the individual. Consumers seem to accept that it has become just another means by which brands are going to try to earn their loyalty.

February 17, 2012

Multibillion-dollar pharmacy benefit management companies are advertising aggressively to try to convince Congress and the Federal Trade Commission to approve a merger between Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions

February 15, 2012
Regulators, healthcare providers and the public at large have taken note of the rise in prescription drug substance abuse. A recent article titled "Oxycodone Prescriptions Rose Sharply" in the New York Times (1/11/2012) describes trends of double-digit percentage increases in the dispensing of certain narcotic based painkillers. And many states have, or will be, implementing prescription drug monitoring programs — also known as prescription monitoring programs — that track the physicians prescribing and the patients receiving controlled substances.
February 13, 2012
Multibillion-dollar pharmacy benefit management companies are advertising aggressively to try to convince Congress and the Federal Trade Commission to approve a merger between Express Scripts and Medco Health Solution.
January 19, 2012

As we welcome a new year, it is exciting to see all the changes headed our way. With all the movement around healthcare reform and technology, we in the pharmacy industry are quick to point out that this industry is years ahead of the rest of health care in terms of payment solutions and automated workflow. The rest of the industry is running to catch up — but right now the pharmacy industry is far from where we need to be to address critical factors in our industry. That said, there are tremendous opportunities that several companies are bringing forward with new technology that can truly revolutionize the delivery of health care.

January 16, 2012

A few years back, Harvard surgeon Atul Gawande authored a book called “The Checklist Manifesto.” The author's message is that the complexity of life has exceeded most individual's ability to manage it consistently without error despite advances in technology, training and specialization. His solution is the utilization of a checklist or a blueprint to ensure and drive success.

January 5, 2012

An average consumer encounters the same or very similar product mix from retailer to retailer. Unintentionally, we have almost trained them not to expect anything special from their shopping experience. The retailer that does offer something beyond the ordinary shopping experience can score big points with shoppers. Do something unexpected to surprise and delight shoppers, and word will spread – probably quickly. So what is it that really makes consumers tick? I think it boils down to five main things.