Consumers want more control over their health, wellness
A new survey by Wolters Kluwer Health indicated that a large majority of consumers think it’s a good thing that more individuals are taking a larger and more active role in their own health care.
This should come as no surprise, as recent years have seen tremendous growth in things like electronic personal health records, mobile apps and use of social media. It also ties in with trends in the devolution of health care to the consumer level, such as retail clinics.
Rite Aid’s slogan is "With Us, It’s Personal," and a major component of that chain’s Wellness store concept is giving customers the means to take charge of their own health and wellness. One company’s slogan contains a grain of truth common to the entire industry, however, as pharmacy retailers have become central players in the personalization of health care by offering services like mobile apps and retail clinics, not to mention a wide variety of products that customers can use to take care of themselves.
Meanwhile, another study, by Royal Philips Electronics, shows that more than 10% of consumers not only see mobile health apps as convenient tools, but also credit those apps with saving their lives. And social media have become a common way for consumers to share information about their conditions with others and also explore possible health problems, as a survey released last month by GE Healthcare shows that online discussions of health and wellness can lead to better behaviors among adults.
None of this, of course, takes physicians, nurses or pharmacists out of the equation. At the end of the day, it’s healthcare professionals who have the power to diagnose, prescribe and dispense. But it does mean that people are taking charge of their own health care and treating their health as a customer experience, and that’s what the personalization of health care is all about.
CVS/pharmacy to acquire 19 Medicine Chest pharmacy locations in Texas
WOONSOCKET, R.I. and SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas — CVS/pharmacy and Medicine Chest Pharmacy announced on Friday that CVS will acquire 19 Medicine Chest drug stores in Texas during the last weekend of December.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
CVS/pharmacy will operate nine of the acquired locations and relocate 10 other Medicine Chest pharmacies into nearby existing CVS/pharmacy locations. Medicine Chest will continue to operate its remaining 10 locations.
"CVS/pharmacy is committed to helping people on their path to better health in our more than 550 Texas locations. By expanding our presence in the state through the acquisition of Medicine Chest’s high-quality pharmacies, we will offer our customers greater convenience and access to our services. We look forward to working with our new colleagues and taking care of our new customers’ pharmacy needs," stated Laura Underwood, area VP for CVS/pharmacy.
"Medicine Chest Pharmacy is proud to have served the Texas community since 1976, and it has been an honor to take care of our customers’ pharmacy needs over the years," added Chad Michel, COO of Medicine Chest Pharmacy. "As we continue to focus on our long-term care pharmacies and our remaining retail locations, we believe CVS/pharmacy is the right partner that will maintain the same level of quality care in those markets we have divested. CVS has worked very hard to make a smooth transition for our customers and employees. Prescription and insurance information will be available at CVS seamlessly, with no interruption of services."
Medicine Chest historically operated 26 retail stores and three long-term care pharmacies all in Texas. The company will continue to own and operate seven retail pharmacies located in Clarksville, Mt Vernon, Quitman, Tyler, Orange and Bryan, Texas. The company — through its three long-term care pharmacies located in Houston, Sulphur Springs and Bryan — will continue to provide service to long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout Texas.
Diplomat Specialty’s ‘top job creator’ nod a boon for specialty pharm
Inc. magazine named Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy as one of the country’s top 100 job creators as part of the business magazine’s inaugural Hire Power Awards. Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy cracked the list at No. 94 with the addition of 233 new positions over the past three years and came in at No. 5 in the company’s home state of Michigan.
But though the company comes in at No. 94 on Inc.‘s list, measured up against the likes of information technology services juggernaut GoDaddy.com or the rapidly growing fast-food chain Colorado Smashburger, Diplomat Specialty is a bellwether all the same — specialty pharmacy is and will be the catalyst for growth in the retail pharmacy industry.
But DSN has been reporting that all along — just last month, Specialty Pharmacy announced the "immediate need to fill [another] 100 full-time jobs" to work in the company’s Flint, Mich., headquarters, a former General Motors technology center. Had those jobs been filled prior to Inc.‘s compilation of the Hire Power Awards, Diplomat would have ranked No. 70.
Once those positions are filled, that will bring the company’s workforce to 625 employees, or a little more than halfway toward the 1,000 employee five-year goal the company set in 2010 when it first moved into the former GM facility. That suggests that by 2015, Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy will have at least 475 new employees over a three-year period. Today, that kind of rapid job growth would place Diplomat Specialty No. 43 on that list.
And it’s only fitting that this is all happening in Flint, Mich., once home to an automobile manufacturing powerhouse. But that industry is long past its heyday, as evidenced by Michigan’s recent vote to become a right-to-work state. And in its place is a new, strong and healthy growth engine in specialty pharmacy that’s only going to get bigger and stronger in the coming years, especially as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is implemented beginning in 2014.
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