PHARMACY

Mobile health has high potential for growth, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The healthcare sector is thought to hold the most promise for mobile technology growth and development, according to a new survey by Deloitte.

Deloitte published results of a study, "Open Mobile: The growth era accelerates," which surveyed 250 senior executives from network carriers, mobile device manufacturers, software application developers and infrastructure component manufacturers, found that 78% of respondents considered health care and life sciences to have the most potential in stimulating business model innovation, along with retail and consumer products and financial services and commerce.

According to the study, wireless healthcare revenue, which was less than half a billion dollars in 2009, is projected to grow to more than $4 billion next year, and analysts expect the market for mobile health, or mHealth, to grow to about $4.6 billion by early 2014. Meanwhile, consumer products and retail are expected to experience "explosive" growth in the use of mobile technology.


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PHARMACY

NACDS RxImpact Day shows community pharmacy wins in communications battle

BY Rob Eder

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — This is a critical time for the industry as the Federal Trade Commission is expected to decide the fate of the Express Scripts-Medco merger in the coming weeks. ESI-Medco, and the pharmacy benefit manager threat in general, were at the top of the list of what members of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores came to talk about at the organization’s annual NACDS RxImpact Day, as chains asked lawmkers to support new legislation that would bring greater transparency to PBM bookkeeping and to tell the FTC to block ESI-Medco. Interestingly enough, the PBM lobby also had been through the Capitol earlier last week. Their fly-in reportedly included some 30 delegates and about 100 meetings. By that measure it appears that community pharmacy is winning the communications battle.

(THE NEWS: NACDS RxImpact Day ‘astounding’ as pharmacy advocates conduct more than 350 congressional meetings. For the full story, click here)

Certainly, DSN did its part to help on the communications front. In support of the event, and to show its advocacy for the industry, DSN produced a special supplement especially for members of Congress. "Rx Impact: Community pharmacy brings innovation to patient care" included 20 profiles of pharmacy chains from big to small — and representative of every channel, including food, drug, mass and club stores — with a focus on what each company was doing to expand and improve patient care. Hand-delivered to all congressional members, committees and subcommittees, the special supplement, available for download at Drugstorenews.com/rximpact-2012, was sponsored by Upsher Smith and ran in retailer copies of the March 12 edition of DSN.

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ScriptRelief to sponsor Single Touch Systems’ prescription, appointment reminders

BY Alaric DeArment

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Single Touch Systems has picked a company that distributes prescription discount cards to sponsor the messages it delivers to pharmacy customers.

Single Touch announced the selection of ScriptRelief to sponsor its prescription pickup and appointment reminders sent to patients’ mobile devices. ScriptRelief provides the RxRelief pharmacy discount card program, which offers discounts on more than 50,000 prescription drugs.

"According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 50 million people throughout the United States are uninsured," Single Touch CEO James Orsini said. "Having delivered more than 300 million messages on behalf of our retail partners and clients, Single Touch established itself as a market leader in the mobile healthcare space; therefore, we are the right partner to help ScriptRelief address this growing cultural divide."


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