May 28, 2013

Risk is everywhere in our lives. The trick, as Mr. Buffett says, is to manage it through knowledge. Your exposure to risk in the pharmacy businesses may come about from various sources.

May 2, 2013

Success in the mass market can be an uphill battle for some niche brands as retailers trim selection, bolster private-label offerings and pass on smaller brands they perceive as higher risk. However, retailers also are increasingly looking to distinguish themselves from the competition, whether it is through exclusive offerings, customization or in-store services.

April 16, 2013

Does the Obama administration “get it” when it comes to pharmacy’s vital interests and lowering health care costs?

One sometimes wonders. As much as I like the president and many of his ideas and instincts, I’m sometimes stumped by some of the lesser-understood facets of the administration’s health policy, and by the seemingly contradictory sets of priorities promoted by that policy.

April 16, 2013

In today’s world, April is the time to begin preparations for the wave of patients who will start visiting pharmacies as early as August to be immunized. On the heels of a severe flu season, past trends suggest the demand for flu shots this year will be tremendous, says Emdeon's Mike Carmody.

April 16, 2013

With just about 90 days to go until the start of the first-ever Total Store Expo in Las Vegas this August, DSN convened executives from leading consumer health and consumer packaged goods companies for a frank and wide-ranging discussion about how their companies are preparing to win at TSE. The show — which will combine the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ former Marketplace, Supply Chain and Logistics, and Pharmacy and Technology conferences into one new mega-show — will bring together retail executives and suppliers from all three fields.

April 9, 2013

The new world of targeted, specialized medicines — many of them bioengineered and many of them aimed at smaller and smaller segments of the population — isn’t just on its way. It’s here. And it’s going to radically change the practice of pharmacy.

Here’s an eye-opener: Specialty drugs will likely account for 50% of all drug costs by 2018, up from 28.7% of total prescription drug costs in 2012.

March 22, 2013

In my last UpMarketing post, Dart and Science, I described how combining quantitative and qualitative research with good old-fashioned gut instincts can drive results. This post examines a related topic: big data. Everyone’s talking about the mountains of data at their fingertips, just waiting for analysis and action. But it seems that no one has figured out an effective way to begin excavating to find the hidden treasure.

March 20, 2013

One major theme resonating across the show floor at HIMSS13 was the importance of interoperability within healthcare ecosystems. Emdeon's Lathe Bigler discusses how interoperability in the pharmacy space has been centered on advances in e-prescribing and clinical messaging.

March 13, 2013

Pernix Therapeutics was recently honored with a "Best Product" designation by retail buyers attending ECRM's Cough/Cold, Analgesics & Allergy EPPS here for its line of Dr. Cocoa pediatric dry cough-cold products.

March 12, 2013

A 12-to-1 return on investment. That’s what researchers in Minnesota estimated public and private health plan payers can get when they pay pharmacists to provide medication therapy management.

February 28, 2013

During last December’s Drug Store Industry Issues Summit our panel of retail executives discussed how to optimize consumer white spaces, creating new trips and value. If you were not there, you missed some great discussions by many of the top thinkers in our industry.

February 25, 2013

“The only real valuable thing is intuition,” said Albert Einstein. Within the consumer healthcare industry, nowhere is that more true than in the realm of brand management.

February 19, 2013

By now we are all well aware of the healthcare IT transformation taking place across the nation. This transformation is expected to continue for the foreseeable future with further implementation of Meaningful Use and the expansion of state Medicaid programs in 2014 as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requirements.

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 28, 2013

Health care is evolving. As obvious of a statement as that is, it doesn’t change the fact that it is very real. Throughout last year, there was intense discussion on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and what impact the outcome of the presidential election might have on its future. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled and elections are settled, healthcare companies and providers across the country are implementing strategies to meet ACA requirements.

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 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 16, 2012

Emerging multidisciplinary healthcare models, such as accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes, promise to elevate quality and lower costs by harnessing the power of provider, payer and patient collaboration. Often overlooked in the coordinated care equation, however, is the integral role pharmacists can play in delivering efficient and effective care.

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.

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.