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App helps consumers ‘PICKKA’ OTC meds

BY DSN STAFF

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. —While many companies are extending their brands into the social media arena, bringing an interactive brand experience to online consumers at home, other companies are working toward extending that brand experience at the actual shelf through smartphones.

Evincii has launched an iPhone and iTouch application designed to help consumers make better shopping decisions on products related to health, wellness and well-being when they’re actually making those decisions—at shelf.

The new application, called PICKKA Med, provides the consumer with a “pharmacist in your pocket” functionality to better navigate the increasingly complex world of over-the-counter medicines. Consumers identify which retailer they’re visiting—product selections are correlated against many of the mainstream pharmacy chain’s planograms, such as Walmart or Walgreens—and then respond to a number of questions on symptoms. The end result is a series of recommendations of products, each with a picture of that product so consumers can quickly identify their selection on shelf.

Recommendations are based on FDA-approved, pharmacologically correct, symptom-based treatments that have been reviewed by a board of certified pharmacists, the company noted. More than 5,000 products—virtually every national brand OTC product sold in the United States—are included in the PICKKA Med knowledge base.

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Hy-Vee names new president

BY Alaric DeArment

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa A 28-year employee of Hy-Vee has become its new president, according to published reports.

The company appointed Randall Edeker as president of the supermarket chain Thursday at the company’s annual meeting, succeeding Ric Jurgens, who had served as president since 2001 and will maintain his position as chairman and CEO.

Edeker had previously served as EVP and COO.

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Tricare expands vaccination coverage to pharmacies, clinics

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Convenience and value. That’s what community pharmacy and their retail clinic partners deliver to their patients. And that’s what the Department of Defense is counting on in covering immunizations at local pharmacies and identifying convenient care clinics as network providers — two separate pieces of news issued within the past month that really underscore the importance of pharmacies and retail clinics in the delivery of health care today.

Prior to these announcements, military personnel interested in getting their flu shots had to schedule an appointment with their doctor, as Tricare only covered the cost of shots delivered in a doctor’s office.

“As a convenient and accessible healthcare provider, pharmacy is uniquely positioned to offer services for patients, such as vaccinations,” stated Steve Anderson, president and CEO for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Anderson noted that as of earlier this year, pharmacists have the ability to immunize patients in all 50 states. “[This] presents an important opportunity for pharmacists to counsel patients during their visit, and an additional healthcare provider from which to obtain these vaccinations.”

It’s also quite a bit of opportunity for pharmacy — Tricare provides healthcare coverage for 9.5 million eligible beneficiaries. Those beneficiaries pick up almost 2.3 million prescriptions every week, and 1.2 million of those at retail pharmacies, according to Tricare .

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