HEALTH

Survey: Many pharmacists offer guidance on OTC purchases

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The American Pharmacists Association on Monday released its 2010 Pharmacy Today over-the-counter product survey and found that 92% of pharmacists walk a patient to the OTC section to assist with a product selection, noting that the average patient consult takes only three minutes of the patient’s time.

The survey also found that when a pharmacist makes an OTC brand recommendation, more than 8-in-10 consumers buy that product.

APhA’s annual survey tracked the OTC products that pharmacists are recommending to their patients, as well as the interactions they are having with those patients. For example, at the height of the allergy season, pharmacists are recommending the following products in the allergy, sinus and general decongestant product categories:

  • Anti-snoring products: Breathe Right strips (80% of 510 pharmacist recommendations);

  • Adult expectorants: Mucinex/Mucinex D/Mucinex DM (75% of 1,467 pharmacist recommendations);

  • Adult topical decongestants: Afrin (66% of 669 pharmacist recommendations);

  • Adult decongestants: Sudafed (65% of 2,070 pharmacist recommendations);

  • Nasal decongestants: Saline – Ocean (54% of 1,250 pharmacist recommendations);

  • Allergy ophthalmic drops: Zaditor (36% of 1,619 pharmacist recommendations);

  • Adult multisymptom allergy and hay fever products: Claritin-D (35% of 2,406 pharmacist recommendations); and

  • Adult antihistamines: Claritin (32% of 2,717 pharmacist recommendations).

The survey, conducted in September 2010, was completed by more than 1,000 practicing community pharmacists. The results of the survey are published as a supplement to the February issue of Pharmacy Today.

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‘Cougar Town’ star takes center stage in Pepto-Bismol campaign

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — In line with the annual celebration of Cinco de Mayo, Pepto-Bismol has tapped actress Busy Philipps, star of ABC’s "Cougar Town," for a campaign themed after the holiday.

As part of the Cinco de Mayo celebration, Pepto-Bismol and Philipps have partnered to help others celebrate the holiday, even while sitting at a computer. The brand has developed a pinata smash on YouTube, where viewers will be able to see Philipps’ favorite way to smash a pinata. Consumers also will have the opportunity to create their own video variations.

Philipps, who said she looks forward to this holiday each year, uses Pepto-Bismol when she overindulges. "I am going to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by throwing a mini-themed fiesta, with several trays of mini quesadillas, mini tacos and mini burritos," Philipps said. "And of course, I’ll be sure that Pepto has my back, ’cause knowing me, I’ll over-fiesta."

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Sav-Mor promotes its small-town spirit

BY Dawn Wilensky

Armed with the positioning line, “It’s Time To Get Better,” Sav-Mor Drug Stores continues to emphasize the big difference between its network of franchised locations and the corporate mentality of the chain operations.


To that end, its most recent radio and television campaign positioned the pharmacies against the large national chains. The customer-
service-focused campaign established the Sav-Mor pharmacist as “your personal pharmacist” along with the idea that “nobody cares more for the customer than the owner.”


To keep its stores in the public eye, Sav-Mor has diligently supported on-target marketing, aggressive advertising, traffic building promotions and public relations campaigns. Among its most successful is the Advertising Circular campaign, whereby the pharmacies produce 14 direct-mail tab and coupon books a year. While each store controls local delivery, each is able to tap into an advertising and promotions program that would be out of reach to an independent pharmacy. Other initiatives created to assist its independently owned and operated neighborhood pharmacies are improved store-level efficiencies.


Its rewards program continues strong, offering customers a 30-day supply of more than 300 drugs for $4 and a 90-day supply for $11.99. In addition, pharmacists offer one-on-one free medication reviews, as well as a 20% discount on all Quality Care over-the-counter products. The program was created three years ago for several reasons. “We put a value on working with our pharmacists to help manage prescription costs,” Sav-Mor president Richard Grossman told Drug Store News. In addition, it enables the chain to match big-box retailers’ prices and keep customers loyal to Sav-Mor pharmacies. The program still carries a one-time fee of $10.


Have a question? A comprehensive website is filled with valuable information with sections devoted to medicine safety, beauty, vitamin and nutrition tips and news, as well as a health library with links to up-to-date information on drugs, diseases and health news.


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