PHARMACY

From health to digital: 7 big ideas from the FMI Midwinter Conference

BY David Orgel

Health and beauty care marketing needs to emphasize values. Disease prevention efforts need more emphasis. Holistic health is an opportunity waiting to be embraced. Those are just three of the ideas spotlighted at a senior leadership meeting for the supermarket industry, the Food Marketing Institute’s Midwinter Executive Conference.

The message at the Scottsdale, Ariz., event was that food retailers have an opportunity to further advance efforts with nutrition, pharmacy and related services, partly by forming innovative collaborations with partners. Other topics discussed included a race to attract millennial shoppers, the growing challenges with advertising and the increasing momentum for socially responsible strategies. Following are key takeaways from the event.

1. HBC needs value push
What if a store has great values but no one notices? That’s the challenge when it comes to food retailers and health and beauty care. “Grocery has great HBC values, but consumers don’t always realize that,” said Lisa Paley, chief customer officer at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. “The mass and drug channels do great jobs telling consumers about value.”

Her advice to grocery retailers was as simple as it was direct: “The time is now to make the shift,” she emphasized. “Tell them about GM/HBC values like you do about food.”

2. Retail services spell opportunity
Grocery stores have made pharmacy an important part of their proposition, but now many food retailers want to grow their healthcare offerings further. “What is the next pharmacy?” asked Pfizer’s Paley. “Maybe it’s the nutritionist. How do you differentiate as a grocer with additional services?”

3. Disease prevention holds greater promise
There’s an opportunity for food retailers to increase their roles in supporting community health, said Leslie Sarasin, FMI’s president and CEO.

“Food retailers successfully playing in the health-and-wellness space are employing pharmacists, nutritionists, dietitians and, in some cases, even physicians and nurse practitioners,” she said. “… We can step up our positive role in the arena of preventive measures with immunizations, nutrition and diet counseling, and health clinics.”

Sarasin said the industry needs “innovative partnerships that meaningfully integrate food and nutrition into the consumers’ healthcare conversations.” The goal is for society to “transform our view of health care from being about disease management to a more constructive disease-prevention perspective.”

“While others in the country are busy pointing fingers, we need to get busy collaborating with healthcare professionals in new ways, providing our shoppers with health-and-wellness solutions,” she said.

4. Holistic health surges
Retailers not benefitting from the holistic health movement are missing out on a big trend. That’s the word from Sally Lyons Wyatt, EVP and practice leader at IRI. “There’s an increase in consumption of foods that can prevent or manage [such] disease states as heart conditions, cancer and diabetes,” she said. She pointed to increased consumption of citrus fruit by diabetics seeking to lower sugar and raise insulin levels.

Other examples include super foods that deliver protein, vitamins and minerals. “Consumers say they’re focusing on health through food, and we’re seeing it in trends we track at IRI,” she said.

Holistic health will continue to be strong over the next three to five years and will benefit retail businesses, she added.  

“Retailers will increase nutritional services to fuel holistic health. Manufacturers will need to partner with retailers. Consumer education will be important,” she said.

5. Millennials embrace pre-shopping
Reaching younger consumers hinges on finding them before the shopping trip.

That was an emphatic point from Pfizer’s Paley. “If we wait until they’re in the store to reach them, we’ll be too late,” she said. “They will be the pre-shop game changers. They determine what they need to know before they get into the store. So we need to engage them differently in the pre-shop part of their journey. Then we can look at the post-shop.”

6. Ad clutter challenging retailers
“There’s a surge in ad exposures that consumers see,” said IRI’s Wyatt. The challenge is to break through the clutter to reach consumers in meaningful ways, she said.

“Starbucks and CVS created their own apps,” she said. “On the CVS app you can order prescriptions and find deals. Retailers want to get to 1:1 personalization.”

7. Social responsibility drives sales
About 70% of FMI industry survey respondents pointed to social and environmental responsibility as a way to differentiate their businesses, according to Sarasin. “Our trends data and other research performed indicate these will continue to become crucial points in your game plan to establish, build and maintain customer loyalty,” she said.

Steven Ramsey, IRI’s EVP, said social responsibility isn’t just a commitment to do the right thing; it’s also a driver of sales. “Strong seafood sustainability programs sell more seafood,” he said. “Animal welfare innovation is noticed by customers.”

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Examining, improving care coordination: Q&A with The Compliance Team founder and CEO Sandy Canally

BY DSN STAFF

Sandy CanallyIn June, The Compliance Team will be rolling out its latest accreditation module, titled Patient Centered Pharmacy Home, that examines the care coordination between primary care facilities and retail pharmacy. Drug Store News recently sat down with Sandy Canally, founder and CEO of The Compliance Team, to get a sneak peek at the new accreditation and the opportunity that represents for pharmacy.

Drug Store News: What is the Patient Centered Pharmacy Home accreditation module, and how does it build on The Compliance Team’s Exemplary Provider-branded accreditation services?

Sandy Canally: We’re looking at the Patient Centered Pharmacy Home as a distinction so that [patients] in the community recognize the leaders in pharmacy, the patient champions if you will.  When Mrs. Smith comes to the pharmacy with a new hypertensive drug, for example, the management of Mrs. Smith’s medication is not only important for the pharmacy but the primary care physician, or the prescriber, as well. Because we accredit primary care practices, we have noted on the primary care side where the physician practice needs to not only have the pharmacy of record listed in Mrs. Smith’s medical record, but also whether they’re doing immunizations, medication management or disease state management. There’s a real opportunity and a need for better care coordination between the primary care center and pharmacy.

DSN: Does The Compliance Team make that connection through the accreditations?

Canally: That’s what we’re doing. We’re asking the physician practices to reach out to the pharmacy through our community pharmacy program anytime care coordination is needed. Remember the role of pharmacy has expanded over the years. They are providing more clinical services, and this goes hand in hand with the expansion of that role. … But, communication is key. So if the pharmacist that is in Brooklyn has been taking care of Mrs. Smith’s meds for the past 40  years, what better person to be an integral part of this patient-centered pharmacy home? The Patient Centered Pharmacy Home is [not only] in the neighborhood, but in the medical neighborhood where the care is coordinated transitionally for chronic disease and for better medication management. Through this accreditation distinction, these neighborhood pharmacies can be even better community leaders because they’re more involved with the whole spectrum of care for their patient.

DSN: By connecting primary care and retail pharmacy, does this new accreditation serve as a referral system, or does it serve as a facilitation of communication between pharmacy and prescriber?

Canally: It would do both. Reporting back to the payers, certainly with Star ratings and with emphasis on pharmacists becoming providers, this is an opportunity to show just how far [pharmacists] can go [in augmenting patient care]. And to your point, from a business perspective, getting referrals to pharmacies that are going to actually communicate back to the practice, that gets into what type of care management does an individual patient need. We know that pharmacists are spending a lot more time now counseling patients around disease states, [such as] diabetes, hypertension [and] asthma. This is an extension and reinforcement of that. It’s a great opportunity for care coordination and transition from one type of provider to another. … It’s exciting. It’s an exciting opportunity for many of the pharmacies to get this distinction for Patient Centered Pharmacy Home. … Business models are changing, whether it’s DME or pharmacy or, even with physician practices, with alternate payment models. And Patient Centered Medical Home is part of that. With patient-centered care …, care coordination practices are getting additional payment for that care coordination.

DSN: What’s the bottom line?

Canally: The Patient Centered Pharmacy Home designation would give the pharmacy another “quality validated brand” by a third-party, nationally recognized accreditation organization. … It is an integrated part of them meeting standards for everyday pharmacy services, … depending on what else they are accredited for. It also sends the message to their patients, prescribers and payers that they are focused on patient-centered care that is coordinated and managed to achieve the best patient outcome.

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Report: Loblaw, SDM to cover employee medical marijuana

BY David Salazar

TORONTO — Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart are taking a big step for employees using medical marijuana, Toronto’s “Breakfast Television” is reporting. The company is set to cover up to $1,500 in expenses related to medical marijuana, the report said, making 45,000 employees eligible.

“As other companies realize how the landscape is shifting maybe they themselves will expand benefits,” University of Toronto director of the division of social and administrative pharmacy Paul Grootendorst told “Breakfast Television.”

Besides the company’s efforts to provide financial support for employees with medical marijuana expenses, it applied in fall 2016 for a license to be a licensed producer with the goal of dispensing medical marijuana to patients alongside pharmacist counseling.

“We believe that allowing medical marijuana to be dispensed through pharmacy would increase access, safety, quality and security for the thousands of Canadians who use the drug as part of their medication therapy," Tammy Smitham, VP external communication for Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart, told Drug Store News in October.

 

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