February 5, 2013

Money is a powerful motivator. Look no further than the sports world for validation. The PGA’s FedEx Cup encourages golfers to earn “points” towards participation in playoffs that offer a big season-ending payoff. Tennis has a similar format with the U.S. Open Series where performance in a series of events equates to a huge prize purse. Both instances use hefty prize money to help ensure the top performers participate and at high levels. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have applied this sports theory to its rankings system of Medicare Advantage (MA) and Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) plans. And there’s billions of dollars up-for-grabs for healthcare plans.

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.

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.

October 2, 2012

I was fortunate. I was born into a wonderful family. Each of my four siblings and I have certainly chosen individual paths, but it is amazing how interconnected we remain and how we can still rely on each other when necessary.

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.

August 24, 2012

This year’s Olympics coverage on NBC stood in stark contrast to the television network's failed attempt to offer expanded audience choice through their pay-per-view “Triplecast” in 1992. Remember that 20 years ago, NBC aired the Olympics through three pay-per-view channels? Their total number of subscribers, either for a one-day pass or any of the “gold,” “silver” or “bronze” packages probably couldn’t equal even the smallest service area for a major cable company.

August 14, 2012

You’ve seen the sign, probably early fall, posted right there on the marquee of the local pharmacy: “Most insurance accepted.” It means that when a patient stops by the pharmacy for a flu shot, the pharmacy can probably bill the health plan for the covered medical benefit.

July 20, 2012

In March, The Drug Store News Group in partnership with the Food Marketing Institute co-hosted a special retailer-supplier panel discussion at FMI’s annual Health & Wellness Conference in Orlando, Fla. DSN editor Rob Eder moderated a lively roundtable discussion that examined key opportunities to align retailer and supplier strategies to better match the needs of today’s consumers — and the moving target that is their definition of health and wellness.

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 21, 2012

What would you do if you discovered something that inspired you, something that made you feel better about today and more optimistic about tomorrow? You would embrace it, and that’s exactly what many National Association of Chain Drug Stores member organizations have discovered and embraced in SIFE, a global nonprofit with a unique value proposition that touches lives in lasting ways.

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

In November 2011, The Drug Store News Group hosted in New York an exclusive roundtable discussion of leading pharmacy retailers and a handful of key vendors. Moderated by special guest Dave Wendland of Hamacher Resource Group, the panel tackled a wide range of issues surrounding diabetes management and much more.

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.

March 27, 2012

A few weeks ago, we joined some 37,000 of our closest friends for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference. HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of health care.

March 9, 2012

Anchored by more than 7,300 stores, 650 clinics and the nation's second-biggest PBM, CVS Caremark is unlike any other company. President and CEO Larry Merlo tells DSN why that matters to payers.