PHARMACY

Good Neighbor Pharmacy, InSite extranet wins Best in Class award

BY Jim Frederick

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. Drug wholesaler and health services giant AmerisourceBergen and its Good Neighbor Pharmacy retail division have been tapped for a “best in class award” for their effort to improve business practices through advanced technology.

The award came at the MicroStrategy World 2010 conference Wednesday. GNP’s InSite system was honored as a cutting-edge extranet application for pharmacy owners.

The InSite system, powered by MicroStrategy, is a business intelligence application developed for retail pharmacies. Within the system are dashboards that provide analytics and personalized information to help pharmacy owners –– including those that own and operate the more than 3,500 GNP locations nationwide –– make better business decisions.

“The management team and our Good Neighbor Pharmacy customers have worked diligently on developing this extranet site which will allow pharmacy owners to uncover opportunities to expand their business, reduce unnecessary costs, help with reimbursement strategies and identify and attract patients with critical needs,” said Chuck Reed, group VP for business management in AmerisourceBergen’s retail sales and marketing unit.

The InSite system also allows customers to compare their performance against peer-group pharmacies, and improve their interactions with patients.

“This is the Web site that allows the retail pharmacist to track their prescription fills, see how they fare against other pharmacies of similar size and markets, and see where they need to improve or are making progress against several key performance indicators,” explained ABC spokesperson Nora Beger.

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PHARMACY

Pfizer discusses updated pipeline

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Pfizer’s acquisition of Wyeth appears to be paying off for the world’s largest drug maker.

Pfizer gave an update of its pipeline for the first time since the acquisition Wednesday, showing 133 drug-development programs in stages ranging from phase 1 to registration with regulatory authorities.

“The pipeline of investigational medicines represents the strong future of Pfizer,” president Martin Mackay of PharmaTherapeutics Research and Development, a branch of Pfizer, said in a statement. “Since the closing of the Wyeth transaction late last year, we have made strategic decisions about our R&D resources, global footprint and high-priority projects. Our focus now turns to delivery of these health solutions for patients around the world.”

The pipeline includes 30 compounds for cancer, 11 for inflammatory diseases, 10 for Alzheimer’s disease and eight for pain.

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Health Mart reaches 2,500 stores as it readies national ad campaign

BY Jim Frederick

SAN FRANCISCO Health Mart, the hard-charging independent pharmacy network owned by McKesson Corp., Wednesday celebrated a milestone: The addition of its 2,500th pharmacy. The announcement came roughly four years after the chain — which then numbered just 300 or so stores — unveiled plans to expand into a nationwide franchise pharmacy operation composed of McKesson’s strongest and most innovative pharmacy operators.

By any definition, that goal has been met. Health Mart now operates in all 50 states and, by its corporate parent’s reckoning, comprises the fourth-largest drug store network in the United States. The company has built a broad menu of clinically oriented health and wellness services for its customers, as well as a range of capabilities that give it some of the national branding, marketing and purchasing strengths of a corporate-owned pharmacy chain.

Among those strengths: A common and widely recognized national image at its 2,500 independently owned stores, third-party contracting and reimbursement services, centrally coordinated in-store merchandising programs, and growing clout in purchasing and promotions.

In line with that growth, Health Mart also announced it will launch a major national ad campaign at the end of the month. The campaign will debut with TV spots in 77 markets during the Grammy Awards telecast Jan. 31 on CBS, and will include multiple spots during the Super Bowl on CBS and NBC’s broadcast of the Winter Olympic Games from Vancouver. The campaign will conclude with ads during the Academy Awards telecast March 7 on ABC.

The TV ads will “highlight the personal care and services…such as diabetes counseling and testing” offered by Health Mart stores, according to the company. The campaign will feature 30- and 15-second commercials featuring a new Health Mart Town creative concept.

“Health Mart pharmacies focus on providing great customer service, as recognized by J.D. Power and Associates in 2009,” said Health Mart president Tim Canning. “This new advertising campaign highlights the emotional connection our pharmacists have with their customers, and it showcases that devotion to a national audience, while spotlighting the fact that Health Mart Pharmacies are practically everywhere.”

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