PHARMACY

Walgreens creating competitive advantage through outcomes approach to health management

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens released a research article on how health care focused on outcomes could really contribute to lowering healthcare costs. The idea is that by improving individual patient experience, improving the health of the overall patient population and reducing the per capita cost of health care, you can realize better patient outcomes out of invested health resources.  

If you take a really close look at what core competencies are necessary to better realize success in that approach, it becomes evident that retail pharmacy is an ideal setting for the process.

Not only does retail pharmacy represent more convenient access, as compared to other healthcare settings, but a lot of this Walgreens is already doing with its loyalty program. The approach is all about aggregating healthcare data and sorting that data to better predict patient behavior. With this you can better target individual patients with personalized interventions (the targeted strategy). 

It’s also about delivering that health care when, how and where a patient wants it. By tying Balance Rewards loyalty incentives initiatives like Walk with Walgreens and Steps, and fielding a readily accessible health professional base, Walgreens can go a long way toward improving health at the macro level, too (the population strategy). Walgreens’ comprehensive vaccination offerings and the recent expansion of clinical services available at Take Care Health into assessing, treating and managing chronic conditions are more examples of how Walgreens can help improve the health of their patients. 

But the real synergies will be realized by bringing those two strategies together (the stratified approach) by helping to identify the most efficient way to motivate healthier behavior among patient populations. Judging by Walgreens’ Accountable Care Organization partnerships and the number of on-site workplace pharmacies and clinics they operate, Walgreens already has a wealth of experience tying it all together. 

This is how patients will be won (and lost) in the future. By demonstrating a proven ability to lower healthcare costs, Walgreens will be able to attract more patient populations tied to employer and health system partners into their stores. Couple that with a strong service-centric front-end proposition, and Walgreens has just formed a significant patient recruitment and retention strategy that will be pretty difficult to replicate. 

 

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PHARMACY

Celgene head elected as PhRMA chairman

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN DIEGO — Celgene Corp. chairman and CEO Robert Hugin has been elected as chairman of a pharmaceutical industry trade group.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America announced the election of Hugin, as well as Pfizer president and CEO Ian Read as chairman-elect of the PhRMA board of directors and Merck chairman, president and CEO as board treasurer.

Hugin succeeds Eli Lilly president, chairman and CEO John Lechleiter as chairman, PhRMA said.

 

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Drug portfolio management teams devote more time, money to niche brands, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Drug companies’ pharmaceutical portfolio management teams spend most of their time and budgets supporting niche products, according to a new study.

The study, "Pharmaceutical Portfolio Management: Selecting Targets, Filling Pipelines and Preparing for Post-Launch Success," by Cutting Edge Information, found that portfolio management teams spend 53% of their time supporting niche products, meaning those with less than $500 million in annual sales. They also spend an average of 59% of their budgets on niche drug compounds, compared with 18% on potential blockbusters.

"The focus on niche drugs makes sense, as drugs with the potential to become blockbusters lose that opportunity as they progress through the development cycle," Cutting Edge Information CEO Jason Richardson said. "As more blockbusters go generic, niche compounds treating conditions with lower rates of incidence become more attractive targets for pharmaceutical companies."

 

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