Kinray’s Stewart Rahr has a vision for America… Is it good for your business?
WHITESTONE, N.Y. — Business mogul, real-estate developer on a colossal scale with an ego to match, reality TV star, highest of the high-profile billionaires. Could Donald Trump’s next big role be president of the United States?
More importantly, would Trump the president be good for the country and, more specifically, for retail and wholesale pharmacy?
Stewart Rahr, fresh from the sale of the drug distribution business that propelled him into Trump’s stratospheric income bracket, clearly thinks so. Rahr, who owned and led Whitestone, N.Y.-based Kinray until its sale last fall to Cardinal Health, is putting his considerable energy and some of his own money into a determined campaign to convince Trump, his pal and occasional golfing partner, to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 — and to deny President Obama a second term.
“He’d be an amazing president, as I see it, because he possesses the attributes the country needs as a president,” Rahr enthused in a mid-December interview with Drug Store News. “He’s intelligent and a tremendous negotiator. He’s a leader in every sense of the word, and he loves America.”
Rahr speaks with the sunny optimism and passion of a true convert, and the restless energy of the self-made billionaire, philanthropist and social dynamo he has become in the past three decades.
In an office whose walls are covered with photos of Hollywood celebrities and sports stars he calls friends, behind a desk covered with his trademark yellow sunglasses, Rahr, now approaching his mid-60s, still is on constant simmer.
Lately, the self-described “King of all Fun” is focused on what he sees as a high calling: the effort to put Trump into national office. “I’m devoting a lot of time trying to convince Donald that he’d make a good president,” Rahr told DSN.
Among other actions, Rahr has lent his support to a new website, ShouldTrumpRun.com, and issued a statement to solicit input and support for a presidential bid by his friend. In that solicitation, he called Trump “a natural born leader with outstanding ability to inspire others and to accomplish impossible tasks.” He also cited a poll from NewsMax.com to assert that Trump could win in a head-to-head contest versus President Obama. “Please join me in trying to convince Donald to consider running for this high office,” Rahr told supporters. “This is as serious as I get,” he added.
Rahr described Trump as “a social moderate” who would aggressively promote America’s return to undisputed global economic leadership. “Donald doesn’t like being second to China or to India,” he asserted. “He’s a visionary, and he thinks forward. He’d love to bring jobs back to America, and ensure that every American has a job. We need a businessperson … [who] can surround himself with the brightest intellectual minds and get things done.”
What would a Trump presidency mean for retail and wholesale pharmacy? Rahr asserted the billionaire “would be a great champion for our industry. … He doesn’t like the Obama healthcare plan,” the executive said. “He thinks there’s too many holes in it, it doesn’t take care of everyone and it’s too expensive. As for the pharmaceutical industry, as long as the product is made in America, he’d support it because that creates revenues and employs Americans,” Rahr said. “He’ll be a friend of this industry, as long as it would be made or distributed here in the United States and not elsewhere.”
A Trump presidency also would benefit from its ties to the former Kinray leader, Rahr said. “With [my background in] the pharmaceutical industry, certainly we’d have an ear to explain the problems we have as manufacturers and as distributors, in health care and pharmacies especially. … I am who I am today because of the pharmaceutical business.”
Rahr predicted his friend likely will make a decision over the next few months — and may begin campaigning in earnest by May or June. “I think it’s going to happen,” he confidently stated.
I had the honor of working with Kinray employee's in the distribution a new generic Rx oral rinse. I found the Kinray employee's to be a very determined, professional and a result-oriented team under Stewart Rahr's leadership. In fact, I was also honored to witness and hear the story on how Stewart Rahr personally saved the famous 9-11 Ground Zero photograph autographed by the three fireman raising the American Flag by outbidding parties outside the United States. Stewart Rahr has a Servant Leadership reputation. He's demonstrated concerned about the welfare his employee's and our industry. I believe his support of Donald Trump is an indication of his desire to improve the quality and strength of U.S. leadership at home and around the world. I support Stewart Rahr's goal of getting Donald Trump to run for President. We have too many lawyers in Washington D.C.---we need experienced business executives to put America back on course. Hal Burke National Accounts Manager Xttrium Laboratories 773-268-5800 (Ext. 160) [email protected]
‘Interactive conversation co.’ puts fun in patient education
CHICAGO — At first glance, there doesn’t seem a natural connection between the CD-ROM version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” and health education. But one company’s smashing success with interactive games led to its venture into prevention and disease management.
The company is Jellyvision, founded in 1989 as Learn Television to create children’s films. After producing “The Mind’s Treasure Chest,” an award-winning educational film, Learn developed the interactive, best-selling trivia game “You Don’t Know Jack,” released in 1995. The following year, the company changed its name to Jellyvision to reflect its broader focus beyond education, and launched a spinoff, Jellyvision Labs. Its mission: to create interactive programs online “to communicate complex subjects.”
The result is a growing series of Web-based, interactive programs about a variety of topics, including such products and services as pharmaceuticals and health coverage options. What sets the interactive dialogues apart is that they’re conversational, funny and entertaining, as patients and virtual hosts walk them through a question-and-response process.
Dialogue is crafted by writers, including screenplay writers and even comedians, who are “well versed at communicating” and “subject-matter agnostic,” explained Josh Braun, Jellyvision’s VP business development.
Those writers, he said, are paired with subject matter experts, “but the experts don’t do the writing, which is why the conversations don’t sound like a marketing brochure; they sound like a human.”
Such drug companies as Bayer and such insurers as Aetna “have experienced much success from implementing interactive conversations via Jellyvision,” noted a representative. For instance, she explained, for a patient who finds out she has multiple sclerosis, “the interactive conversation walks [her] through the differences between treatment, breaking down … complicated information into a short conversation that’s easy to understand and reassuring. [The patient] now feels relieved because she has a grasp on her diagnosis and how to handle it.”
Pharma companies, Braun said, “drive brand conversations” via Jellyvision. “Educating people about diseases and possible treatment options hopefully drives them to visit their doctors and mention the medication,” he said.
Drug manufacturers also can apply Jellyvision’s interactive approach to doctors. “It’s difficult for sales reps to see physicians nowadays,” Braun told Drug Store News. “So interactive conversations can be used as a learning device for physicians. Then, when the sales reps go in and visit, the physician is a little more ‘warmed up’ and better educated.”
With a company like Aetna, he added, it’s about educating plan members about their benefits and providing decision support.
There’s no reason a pharmacy chain couldn’t use the same approach, Braun said, by participating in patient education activities or other brand-building actions.
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Congress exempts pharmacies from ‘red flags’ rule
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Congress handed community pharmacies a Christmas present in December, voting to exempt them from burdensome accounting requirements imposed by the Federal Trade Commission.
Both the House and Senate approved bipartisan legislation that removes community pharmacies and other small businesses from new requirements by the FTC and six other federal agencies regarding credit and debit card use. The so-called “red flags” rule, geared toward financial institutions and other creditors, requires such entities to develop and implement identity theft prevention and detection programs.
Independent pharmacies, in particular, have long sought legislative relief from the new rule, saying it would impose huge financial burdens on small-scale drug store operators by forcing them to scale up their automation and electronic reporting capabilities with expensive new systems.
The National Community Pharmacists Association hailed the votes in the House and Senate. “Community pharmacists appreciate passage of this bipartisan, bicameral legislative solution exempting pharmacies and other small businesses from the onerous FTC red flags rule, which is intended for financial institutions,” said NCPA EVP and CEO Kathleen Jaeger. “Thanks to the House … and the Senate vote, … community pharmacists can continue providing expert medication counseling and other services without an additional regulatory burden.”
Jaeger singled out several lawmakers in both houses for their efforts on behalf of pharmacy owner-operators. Among them: Reps. John Adler, D-N.J., Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., in the House; and Sens. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and John Thune, R-S.D., who authored bipartisan legislation earlier this year to exempt many small businesses from the new rule. Key to passage in the Senate, Jaeger said, was additional support from Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Mass., and Richard Shelby, R-Ala.
“We commend Sens. Begich, Dodd, Shelby and Thune for their hard work to ensure that reasonable consumer protections can go forward without unduly burdening pharmacists and other providers with unnecessary, time-consuming requirements,” Jaeger said.
Dodd was quoted by the Congressional Record as saying that the legislation “makes clear” that pharmacists and “other types of healthcare providers and other service providers will no longer be classified as ‘creditors’ for the purposes of the red flags rule just because they do not receive payment in full from their clients at the time they provide their services, when they don’t offer or maintain accounts that pose a reasonably foreseeable risk of identity theft.”
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