Retail pharmacy, clinics rise to the challenge of healthcare reform
It could be described as a perfect storm. The U.S. healthcare system is working to tackle soaring costs, a lack of ample accountability and a lack of access to primary care physicians as millions of previously uninsured Americans gain insurance via health reform. Despite the challenges presented by this new era of health care, the reality is that there’s rarely been a more promising time for retail healthcare delivery.
That is a key message of the GMDC whitepaper, “The Changing Healthcare Scene @ Retail: Retailers Setting the Stage for a Greater Role in U.S. Healthcare Delivery.”
“If stores are to optimize their health offers, they need to overcome many external and internal challenges. They must define and assert their larger roles in a market roiled by economic and legislative change — most notably the Affordable Care Act, effective at the start of 2014. They must advance their case to health officials and the public to heighten enthusiasm and growth prospects,” the whitepaper stated. “Why? To stand up against members of the medical establishment who’d rather dismiss stores than recognize their value in augmenting physician care, and to position stores for where health care appears to be heading.”
By raising the perception of retail health products and services, retail stores can enhance value and become a seamless part of the evolving healthcare landscape. While some retailers are making some significant progress, the whitepaper further details trends and documents research to help retailers further optimize their health investments.
Government payers and insurers want providers to be more accountable for better patient outcomes, and medication management is key to these results. In light of this, the focus on patient counseling by pharmacists has intensified.
Furthermore, pharmacists can not only lift aisle sales by guiding patients to the right OTC medications and nutritionals for their condition, but they also can help patients to self-care.
“OTCs effectively help people to self-care, save time and the expense of seeing doctors for relatively minor ailments, and avoid exposure to sick people in waiting rooms. Indeed, the availability of OTCs is key to providing symptomatic relief to an estimated 60 million people who otherwise would not seek treatment,” the whitepaper stated, citing a Booz & Co. study done by the CHPA.
The whitepaper also noted that switch products that hit shelves amid the implementation of the ACA coincided with the rise in self-care driving more traffic to stores. Rx-to-OTC switches can be a triple-win as retailers gain more store visits, aisle traffic and category sales; consumers have easy access to effective remedies; and brands extend revenue streams beyond their patent expirations.
Then there are retail-based health clinics. Such clinics are increasingly demonstrating their importance within the healthcare system and are no doubt poised for expansion. Aside from expanding their geographic footprint and scope of service — through such offerings as helping patients manage such chronic conditions as diabetes and high cholesterol — clinics also are forming a number of strategic affiliations with health systems.
Furthermore, the whitepaper noted a rise in telemedicine at retail.
“Stores increasingly address both acute care and preventive needs — at a time when millions of Americans lack access to primary care physicians, and most who struggle in this economy feel they can’t afford to get sick so they’d better act more responsibly for their own wellness,” the whitepaper stated. “This provides a sweet spot for stores: Pharmacy and OTCs/nutritionals continue to anchor the retail health portfolio, as they have for decades. Clinics are on the rise. And … retailers increasingly try to connect the better-for-you food and non-foods sides of consumer health more closely.”
HBW: Bigger, better than ever
Conference goers at this year’s 2014 Global Market Development Center Health, Beauty and Wellness Marketing Conference will see a number of new faces as executives from 7-Eleven, Carlie C’s, Certco, Coborn’s and Niemann Foods, among others, will be attending for the first time, Mark Mechelse, GMDC director research, industry insights and communications, told DSN in preparation for the big event.
By request, GMDC has expanded the number of Senior Executive Conferences this year. SECs are pre-scheduled, 40-minute appointments between retailers and their vendor partners that create an opportunity to review key issues and opportunities. SEC meetings were held on Thursday and Friday.
Also, this year’s SEC meetings will not overlap the meeting’s Controlled Casual Conferences, which are shorter, 10- to 20-minute meetings that are focused on opportunities that include new product presentations, business and category reviews, and collaborative business-building discussions. This year, these appointments will be held Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning.
This year’s conference will again leverage GMDC*Connect telepresence to enhance productivity and participation.
GMDC again will host its annual showcase, a room that features new products, promotions and merchandising innovations for retail and wholesale members. Top-scanned items, which are posted during the conference, will be identified in a post-conference press release.
Other highlights will include:
- On Saturday, Todd Hale, SVP at Nielsen, will join Maryellen Molyneaux, president of NMI, in a keynote presentation on key trends across health and beauty. The pair will explore evolving shopper behaviors and provide insight into consumer purchase decisions that will have an impact across both retail and brand portfolios.
- Saturday night, GMDC will host its annual “An Evening with the Chairmen” dinner. Bill Anderson, 2014 GMDC chairman and group VP at H-E-B, will be joined by GMDC CEO and president Dave McConnell in welcoming attendees to the conference. Also that night, GMDC will award its 2014 GMDC Lifetime Achievement Award. Conference goers will enjoy a performance from local band Blue Stone Circle after dinner.
- On Sunday, GMDC’s VP business development and chief member officer Keith Wypyszynski will be joined by Michael Winterbottom, VP information technology/chief technology officer, to break down the plethora of services available to GMDC members, including GMDC Service Center with Virtual Store Digital Library, the new GMDC/Nielsen GM Hierarchy category data, GMDC*Connect and GMDC’s myConference Center.
- GMDC’s annual silent auction, which benefits the GMDC Education Leadership Council, is completely online this year, Mechelse said.
Of particular note is an experience in which many vendors may be interested — 10 retailers have put their time up for silent auction this year. The retailers, which include such high-level executives as Bill Anderson from H-E-B, will dedicate an entire day meeting at headquarters and conduct local store tours with the bid winner. “For a supplier, if you’ve got a really unique story, how else can you carve out an entire day with [many of these retailers]?” Mechelse noted.
Bidding for items closes before the Chairmen Dinner event on Saturday, May 31.
New OPI limited edition nail lacquer collection inspired by Ford Mustang
LOS ANGELES — OPI Products, a subsidiary of Coty Inc., and Ford Motor Co. have announced a collaboration featuring the iconic Ford Mustang. The popular pony car — which celebrated its 50th anniversary in April — serves as the inspiration for a line of OPI limited edition nail lacquers that will launch internationally in July.
“OPI is thrilled to partner with one of the world’s top automotive companies in celebrating 50 years of Ford Mustang,” stated Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI co-founder and EVP. “For women, cars and nail lacquer offer a way to express personality. This new collection will deliver elements of sophistication, luxury, power and style fitting for both OPI and Mustang consumers.”
The collection’s hero shade, Race Red, is a tribute to one of Mustang’s most iconic colors.
“Ford Mustang inspires passion like no other car, and we are excited to be working with OPI on an exclusive collection that captures the spirit of our iconic car,” added Melanie Banker, Mustang marketing manager. “There is no better way to express Mustang’s bold personality and the excitement it creates than through color.”