HEALTH

Evincii makes OTC decisions easier with PICKKA

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK While many companies are extending their brands into the social media arena, bringing an interactive brand experience to consumers at home, other companies are working toward extending that brand experience at the actual shelf, through such new mediums as smartphones. Evincii is one of those companies.

 

While Evincii declined to disclose future roll-outs around the PICKKA platform, this new app may be a glimpse into the future of merchandising, and at the very least the future of point-of-purchase material.

 

Today, you need clip-strips and adjacencies to entice synergistic, incremental sales. But what of tomorrow? Imagine combining that product recommendation with some of the functionality today found on the sites of online retailers like Amazon.com with a “people also bought …” feature. Or imagine “coupling” recommendations, where if a consumer searches for one item, say sun block for example, the smart phone app recommends another product like vitamin D with a “did you know” entry — “Did you know that sun block, while it protects against skin cancer, also inhibits absorption of vitamin D, an essential vitamin?”

And there are other potentialities. Evincii has already partnered with several retailers to make sure that the product recommendations made by the PICKKA app jives with what that retailer actually has on shelf, thus avoiding a virtual “out-of-stock” experience. What if you could combine that feature with a Google maps functionality, where the product recommendation is paired with an in-store map showing exactly where that product is? That could open the door to whole new world of synergistic adjacencies, where those synergistic products wouldn’t necessarily have to be physically adjacent.

Of course, there may be technological hurdles to these kinds of ideas, who knows? But then again, it wasn’t too long ago that anyone was talking about tapping into a “pharmacist in your pocket” for a product recommendation at the actual location where a consumer makes their purchase decision, either.

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CDC director: About 16% of Americans have been sick with H1N1 this year

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA One-in-6 Americans have been sick with the novel H1N1 virus so far this year, Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported during a news conference Thursday.

“We estimate there have been nearly 50 million cases, mostly in younger adults and children,” he said.  

That includes approximately 200,000 hospitalizations so far this year, which correlates with the number of hospitalizations typical for the seasonal flu. However, there have been almost 10,000 deaths, including 1,100 children and 7,500 young adults, Frieden said. “That’s much higher than in a usual flu season,” he said. So as we’ve seen for months this is a flu that is much harder on younger people and fortunately has largely spared the elderly until now.”

And though the number of H1N1 cases is expected to continue to decline this week, Frieden cautioned against complacency, commenting that the typical flu season extends into May and noting that the vast majority of Americans — 5-in-6 — have not become sick with H1N1, suggesting there is still a significant number of people who could become ill.

While the number of H1N1 cases decline, the amount of H1N1 influenza vaccine available continues to increase — approximately 85 million doses have been delivered to the CDC to date.

“Many states have increased the eligibility, having met the demand in the five priority groups to the general population and that’s consistent with the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices,” Frieden said. “This is still a good window of opportunity to be vaccinated. I can certainly understand that many people might [ask], ‘Well there’s been so much disease and it’s going down so much, why get vaccinated now?’ But the fact is we don’t know what the future will hold.”

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PricewaterhouseCoopers: Personalized medicine market to grow 11% annually

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK PricewaterhouseCoopers’ report that the personalized medicine market will grow 11% per year is just another indication that the field could become the next generation of community pharmacy.

A lot of research already has gone into studying the interactions between drugs and the genetic makeup of the patients who take them. In October, pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions announced that it would undertake a study to determine whether the presence of a normally functioning version of the gene CYP2C19 in 70% to 75% of patients, which makes them “extensive metabolizers” of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s and Sanofi-Aventis’ anticlotting drug Plavix (clopidogrel), have comparable outcomes to patients taking Eli Lilly & Co.’s Effient (prasugrel). Unlike Plavix, metabolism of Effient does not depend on patients’ genetic makeup.

 

Meanwhile, CVS Caremark will work with Generation Health to expand pharmacogenomic, or PGx testing to its pharmacy benefit manager clients to predict how patients will respond to medications for cancer, cardiovascular diseases and HIV. CVS expects to introduce PGx clinical services to its PBM clients in second quarter 2010. Regional chain Kerr Drug, working with the University of North Carolina’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy, will begin targeting patients using Plavix in a PGx program of its own by using DNA testing to optimize the therapeutic effects of the drug at its new Community Healthcare Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.

 

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