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UrgentRx announces new sales director hire

BY Jason Owen

DENVER — On Friday, UrgentRx, developer of fast-acting, over-the-counter flavored powder medications, announced Rick Hayward will be joining the company as the sales director for the food, drug and mass channels.

Hayward joins UrgentRx from Reckitt Benckiser, one of the world’s largest CPG manufacturers that acquired Schiff Nutrition in December 2012. While at Reckitt Benckiser, Hayward served as national account manager for CVS/pharmacy. Prior to the acquisition, he was a core team player at Schiff Nutrition for over 11 years where he held key positions such as national sales director for the natural/specialty channels and director of business development for the drug channel.

Prior to Schiff Nutrition, Hayward acted as the VP – brand development manager/region manager at Marketing Specialist Inc., a national food broker. While there, he spearheaded major initiatives for Heinz USA and the Minute Maid Co. across major food retailers within the Mid-Atlantic, New York, and Northeast markets.

“Mr. Hayward has spent his career growing some of the most well-known national and global brands,” stated Jordan Eisenberg, president and founder of UrgentRx. “His expertise managing and growing new brands within major food and drug chains will further propel UrgentRx’s rapid expansion across the country. We are thrilled to have him join our team.”

UrgentRx sells six flavored powder medications in credit card size packs for on-the-go use: Critical Care Aspirin to Go, Headache Relief to Go, Heartburn Relief to Go, Upset Stomach Relief to Go, Ache & Pain Relief to Go and Allergy Attack Relief to Go. Currently distributed in 10,500 stores, the company’s goal is to reach 20,000+ stores by the end of 2013.


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Yoplait introduces new Go-Gurt packaging with health labels

BY Jason Owen

MINNEAPOLIS — Yoplait yogurt announced on Friday a new, more vibrant packaging design with more pronounced health benefits for its Go-Gurt brand yogurt to hit store shelves.

Go-Gurt’s new packaging design features new health messaging on the outside of the box, including labels of no high fructose corn syrup and that it contains natural flavors and colors.

"Our consumers expressed their need for a product that doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup for their kids and we listened and acted," said Justin Conzemius, Yoplait associate marketing director. "For the past year, we have been working on a product that would achieve those goals, yet continue to deliver a product that kids found fun and delicious."

"We know that sugar is a concern for parents and that parents desire more natural products," said Melissa Haase, Yoplait research and development. "While there were hurdles with the new reformulation, we were also able to reduce the sugar by 1 gram and lower the calories from 70 to 60 calories per serving."

While maintaining the same taste and a healthier formulation, Go-Gurt also provides a good source of calcium and at least 10% of the daily value of vitamins A and D per serving.

Go-Gurt is available in 8- and 16-ct. package varieties with a SRP of $2.89 and $4.99 respectively in grocers’ refrigerated aisles.


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Walgreens continues to evolve services associated with the neighborhood pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

Theranos and Walgreens announced a long-term partnership to bring access to Theranos’ new lab testing service through Walgreens pharmacies nationwide. As the service becomes available through Theranos Wellness Centers inside Walgreens stores, consumers will be able to access less invasive and more affordable clinician-directed lab testing. 

With this news, it becomes clear that the days of the Walgreens pharmacist and nurse practitioner are numbered — not because those professionals are going anywhere, mind you, but because the connotation associated with those occupations really no longer applies. With the number of healthcare services being rolled out under the Walgreens umbrella, it would be more apropos to identify them as healthcare brokers. 

That’s because the scope of healthcare services, appropriate for the retail space, has become quite extensive. Over the past decade, retail clinics within Walgreens have grown from providing a short menu of acute-care items to becoming a destination center for immunizations and select chronic-care disease state management offerings. And as Walgreens relocated the pharmacist from behind the bench in an effort to increase customer accessibility, that pharmacist evolved from an adjudicator of prescriptions to a more fulfilling role as a healthcare counselor plus so much more. Where clinics aren’t available, Walgreens pharmacists also serve as immunizers, medication therapy management counselors and adherence strategists. And beyond patient counseling, Walgreens pharmacists can help educate their senior citizen base on appropriate Medicare plans. And soon that also will include education on the new accountable care organizations that will help serve their entire patient base.

Walgreens is even extending their healthcare expertise beyond the retail patient. The chain most recently partnered with the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center on a bedside delivery program that will help boost adherence and compliance just before the last pieces of healthcare reform fall into place. 

Another example of how Walgreens is helping to evolve what services are associated with pharmacy is its recent collaboration with Orlando Health. The services offered as part of that partnership will foster greater access to care, better coordination of care and an increase in patient awareness around all the healthcare services they can access through Orlando Health. 

When you consider Walgreens’ worksite centers and specialty pharmacy services, Walgreens is so much more than just a pharmacy. Similarly, their customer base extends well beyond just the prescription-filling patient. So the days of Walgreens’ pharmacists and clinicians are numbered. They’re healthcare brokers now. 


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