PHARMACY

Cardinal arms community pharmacists with resources to augment diabetes awareness efforts

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health on Monday announced the availability of free, downloadable materials to help community pharmacists educate patients about effective strategies for preventing and living with diabetes as part of National Diabetes Awareness Month. 

“The diabetes population is expected to double by 2034, and we are committed to providing community pharmacists with the tools and resources they need to help these patients better understand and manage this disease," stated Christi Pedra, SVP marketing for Cardinal Health’s Pharmaceutical segment. 

Cardinal Health is providing access to the following tools and materials:

  • An interactive presentation, developed in partnership with CreativePharmacist.com, which helps pharmacists educate patients about diabetes awareness, risk prevention and daily management. The presentation also focuses on how patients can build their relationships with their local pharmacist to improve healthcare outcomes;
  • Patient informational handouts that help the patient follow along with the interactive presentation, allowing the patient to record what they are learning about diabetes from their pharmacist;
  • An ADA risk assessment form that helps patients identify whether they are at risk of developing the disease; and
  • Promotional materials, including customizable bag clippers and flyers.

Cardinal Health also offers a Specialized Care Center focused on diabetes where participating pharmacies have access to an array of tools and resources to help position themselves as a local destination for diabetes care.

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PHARMACY

Loyalty cards explain how three pharmacy operators are bullish around winning the same patient

BY Michael Johnsen

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark reported strong numbers on both the retail and PBM sides of its business — but the real bombshell for analysts on the call was the news that the company has raised its estimate on the number of Express Script patients that CVS feels it can keep from going back to Walgreens.

That’s a big boast. But Rite Aid, too, likes its shot to keep the ESI customers who at one time frequented Walgreens’ pharmacies to fill their prescriptions. And Walgreens, for its part, reminds analysts that there was a reason those ESI patients were filling their prescriptions in the first place. So the Chicago retailer is confident that they’ll be able to entice many of their former patients to return to the pharmacy fold. But in the end, who’s really going to capture that coveted ESI patient? Will they stay, or will they go?

And that all depends on what each of these retailers do to grow their respective businesses going forward. The one big difference between CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens before the Walgreens/ESI split, and after? Loyalty cards. That’s where we think the battle for the customer might be won or lost. 

It’s certainly a big issue, as outlined by DSN’s recent coverage of the loyalty wars raging between the pharmacy operators

Champions of today’s best-in-class loyalty cards — and that would include each of the drug store chains mentioned here — are looking well beyond using simple discounts to drive shopper behavior. That’s low-hanging fruit. The good stuff, the high-up-top stuff will only be reached with the greater adoption of big data mining tools and predictive analytics. Ascertaining what a customer is going to buy before even she knows to put it on the shopping list, and then propositioning a deal on that knowledge, that’s what’s going to shake out the winners and losers. Because armed with that kind of knowledge, the best-in-class retailers will be able to construct a steady stream of personalized offers catered to their highest-profit customers and enticing them to walk into their respective stores.

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PHARMACY

The synergies to flow between Boots, Walgreens have only begun to be tapped

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON — As part of its multi-channel strategy, Boots UK is currently testing the use of iPads to support in-store ordering across 30 stores, the London-based drug store retailer recently announced

Sound familiar? Borrowing a page from the Walgreens playbook is evidence that the sharing of best practices will flow in both directions across the Atlantic. What else could Boots borrow from Walgreens? Creating a pharmacy business that better interacts with the neighboring community is one strength at Walgreens that Boots may successfully plug into. 

And how about clinics? While the United Kingdom has universal health care, you can’t just walk into a doctors office in London without an appointment. And Walgreens has plenty of experience not only operating a retail clinic as part of a pharmacy format, but also experience in leveraging that clinic against surrounding healthcare providers and employers in an effort to realize the best healthcare value. 

That link between Walgreens and Boots will very quickly become a superhighway with best practices flowing in both directions. Joe Magnacca, Walgreens president daily living products and solutions, recently sat down with DSN regarding the big picture in developing successful retail pharmacy formats. 

"[Boots] clearly looks at each category differently," he said. For example, Boots is very health- and beauty-focused when it comes to seasonal merchandise, as opposed to the general merchandise fare that stock the seasonal aisles of many American retailers. Other service models that Boots has instituted across the Pond that might be explored by Walgreens include optical and hearing aids. 

“We think there are a lot of great learnings that will come our way and we think similar things will happen the other way, as well, in terms of some of our strategies in private label and innovation,” Magnacca said. “I think the way we approach fresh is different than they do today. We think they have a great infrastructure from a supply chain point of view, but we believe we have some very dominant brands that can be heavily leveraged, including our DeLish and Nice! brands," he added.

Both Walgreens and Boots will have increasing opportunities to leave their respective atypical drug store models behind and be more aggressive with a cross-polination of drug store retailing for the future.

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