Panelists cite promise of in-store testing
Cheryl Miller and John Tamerius of Quidel, Karen Mankowski of Meijer, Michael Klepser of Ferris State and Alex Adams of NACDS, pictured above, discuss point-of-care screening in the pharmacy.
BOSTON — With diabetes and other diseases at epidemic levels, the need for more pharmacies to step up and offer accessible, convenient patient screening for a variety of serious and even life-threatening conditions is clear, a panel of pharmacists asserted at Monday’s “Convenient Care — Point of Care Testing in the Pharmacy” session. So, too, is the opportunity to drive new business to the pharmacy through point-of-care testing services, panelists agreed.
Panelists included Michael Klepser, professor of pharmacy practice with Ferris State University in Michigan; Karen Mankowski, VP pharmacy retail operations at Meijer; John Tamerius, SVP clinical and regulatory affairs for Quidel Corp.; and Cheryl Miller, Quidel’s director of strategic operations. The event was moderated by Alex Adams, NACDS VP pharmacy programs.
Point-of-care screening of patients at the pharmacy is rapidly gaining validity among patients and other health professionals, including doctors, as the need for more immediate and responsive health and preventive care services grows.
To advance the concept, Ferris State collaborated with Meijer on a pilot project funded by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation. Under the program, Meijer offered free testing for influenza and strep throat at 12 of its stores. Six of those stores were set up as collaborative practice sites integrated with a local physician.
The results showed real benefits both for patients and participating pharmacies, Mankowski said. Not only did pharmacists catch undiagnosed conditions among some patients, but “1-in-3 patients who came into the test program did not have a primary care physician,” she said.
Although there was “some apprehension” among some pharmacists and “some push back” from a few local doctors, Mankowski said resistance melted away as the value of point-of-care pharmacy-based health screenings became clear. “We view point-of-care testing as a very viable model,” she said.
Klepser added, “This is going to be bigger than immunizations” for retail pharmacy. “Pharmacists are essentially going to be the GPs (general practitioners) of the future.”
A.T. Kearney, NACDS unveil joint survey results at Total Store Expo
BOSTON — Early Monday at the NACDS Total Store Expo, NACDS’ Retail Advisory Board and A.T. Kearney presented the results of the “Winning with Digital Marketing” study that the two organizations undertook. The study provides insights on effectiveness and engagement in digital marketing campaigns based on retailers’ responses.
“The NACDS Total Store Expo is the ideal place for this research to be presented,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said. “The study highlights the importance of retailers and suppliers working collaboratively — not only with each other, but with other departments within their own organizations to make the most of emerging technology. This type of collaboration is one example of the collaboration made possible by this show’s unique format.”
The most common ways in which retailers tried to reach out to customers were the company’s website, email, twitter, Facebook and mobile.
Among the groups’ findings is the fact that retailers use the company’s website as the most prominent place for delivering circulars and creating awareness of the brand. When it comes to awareness, many respondents said they use Facebook and Twitter to drive awareness as well.
When it comes to educating consumers, retailers reported moving more toward mobile platforms, something that respondents said email carries the brunt of. Overall, the study points to digital as an important part of an omnichannel approach for retailers.
“Digital Marketing is becoming a game-changer in retail,” said Todd Huseby, a partner at ATKearney. “We believe that how companies adopt and adapt with these capabilities will have a long-term impact on successful partnerships between retailers and their suppliers. We will support this project going forward by releasing companion pieces where we will discuss our interpretations of how individual CPG manufacturers and retailers can use these study results to prepare for the future.”
Emdeon announces co-pay assistance program
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Emdeon on Monday announced the launch of Emdeon Easy Save for retail pharmacies. The program gives access to some of the largest copay assistance programs available also while encouraging retail pharmacies to offer copay coupon programs to customers when they need it, according to the company.
"We know from industry research that lower out-of-pocket patient costs can lead to higher medication compliance, and that in turn, higher medication compliance typically leads to better health outcomes," said Kevin Mahoney, EVP of pharmacy services for Emdeon. "We are proud to deliver a simplified copay coupon assistance program to the pharmacies we serve as they strive to increase medication compliance and reduce patients' costs."
Emdeon partnered with PSKW, a provider of biopharma loyalty relationship marketing services, to deliver the program. PSKW helps identify the best available offer for copay assistance. Results from Emdeon Easy Save data have shown that patients refill their prescriptions with more frequency — two to three more prescription refills per year — and stay on therapy longer than patients who are not offered copay assistance programs, the company said.
"With so many competing economic priorities out there for patients, we are pleased to work with Emdeon to provide a straightforward solution that maximizes PSKW's broad pharma relationships and pairs that with Emdeon's vast reach into the retail pharmacy," said Robert Previdi, chairman and CEO of PSKW.