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Benzer Pharmacy unveils MTM offering

BY Gisselle Gaitan

It has been announced by Benzer Pharmacy, that the Tampa- Fla.-based chain will be addressing the demand for clinical solutions to supervise overprescribing patients. The company will be tackling this issue by providing medication therapy management, or MTM, to its customers.

“Medication therapy management is a patient-centric approach to bridge the gap between pharmacists and patients. By providing increased access to pharmacists, patients are able to take on a more active role in their wellness journey,” Alpesh Patel, president of Benzer Pharmacy, said.

The services will include pharmacotherapy consultation, progress check-ins, anticoagulation management, health and wellness programs, immunizations and medication therapy reviews, among others.

“Medication therapy management is a program that helps ensure the patient is adherent with their medications,” Jazz Harvey, CPhT at Benzer Pharmacy, said. “At Benzer Pharmacy an MTM Specialist works alongside pharmacists to ensure the systematic process of collecting patient-specific information, assessing medication therapies to identify medication-related problems, developing a prioritized list of medication-related problems, and creating a plan to resolve them.”

Benzer Pharmacy also will offer comprehensive medication review, or CMR, services to those enrolled in the MTM program. CMR is a systematic process of collecting patient-specific information, assessing medication therapies to identify medication-related problems, developing a prioritized list of medication-related problems, and creating a plan to resolve them with the patient, caregiver and/or prescriber, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Those enrolled in the MTM program will have the option to refuse or decline any individual services or disenroll from the service with the company’s CMR offering. 

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Perrigo names new CEO

BY Michael Johnsen

Perrigo on Monday announced the appointment of Uwe Röhrhoff as CEO, effective Jan. 15, following the retirement of John Hendrickson.

"I look forward to working with Perrigo's experienced management team, who have been instrumental in positioning the company's consumer OTC and prescription pharmaceutical businesses to capitalize on current trends in the market," Röhrhoff said. "I have long admired Perrigo's operational excellence and its mission to deliver high-quality, affordable healthcare products that improve the lives of patients and families. I see great opportunity to leverage the company's unique asset base and to lead its talented employees to deliver enhanced value for shareholders. Perrigo's core values resonate with me deeply, and I look forward to leading this organization into its next stage of evolution."

"The board of directors is excited to announce the appointment of Uwe as president and CEO," stated Laurie Brlas Perrigo chairman. "Uwe brings a strong track record of operational excellence, strategic growth and healthcare supply chain management. As the CEO of Gerresheimer, a publicly-traded international manufacturer for the global pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, Uwe's transformative strategic vision and focus on operational excellence enhanced the company's leading market positions and created significant value for shareholders of approximately 225% in total shareholder return as CEO. We are confident that his leadership style and industry, financial and operational expertise are the right fit for Perrigo. We are grateful to John for his passionate leadership and contributions to the company over the past 28 years. John has been a trusted leader, a great colleague and a friend to many, and we value his continued guidance as Uwe transitions into his new role."

Röhrhoff has more than 25 years of experience with Gerresheimer, which generated approximately $1.7 billion in revenue in 2016. He began his career with Gerresheimer in 1991, steadily advancing within the organization to serve in a number of key leadership roles in Europe and North America.

Röhrhoff was appointed to build out the company's business in the United States (1996-1998) and head the American subsidiary Gerresheimer Glass (2001-2010). He served as an executive board member (2003-2017), responsible for two of the company's three business units, and CEO (2010-2017) of Gerresheimer until his retirement in August 2017.

Hendrickson will resign as CEO and board member on Jan. 15 and will remain with the company until March 15 to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

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Not their mom’s skin care regimen

BY Nora Caley

Consumers are more aware than ever of ingredients, not just in their foods but in products they put on their skin. Trends that are driving the skin care category include everything from natural and plant-based ingredients to millennials rejecting their baby boomer parents’ brands to the rise of Korean pop culture. Manufacturers say drug stores can thrive in the skin care category if they freshen up their assortments with innovative lotions, masks and cleansers targeted to the younger shopper.

According to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm, for the 52 weeks ending Nov. 5, 2017, sales of skin care items totaled more than $3.69 billion in U.S. multi-outlets, which includes grocery, drug, mass, military and select club and dollar retailers. That was an increase of 4.4% compared with the same period the previous year.

In drug stores, the total was more than $1.24 billion, up 3%. The top gainers in drug stores were facial cleansers, up nearly 10% to $386.8 million; and facial moisturizers, up 8.7% to more than $183.7 million. Sales of anti-aging products decreased 1% to $418.15 million.

The sales figures reflect a demographic shift that has big implications for what products retailers and suppliers should offer their customers.

“It used to be all about anti-aging,” said Kimberle Lau, director of innovation of skin care at Amityville, N.Y.-based Sundial Brands. “Now millennials want preventative, detox and hydration. Consumers are looking to cleanse and purify their skin.”

That change in mindset has contributed to an increase in demand for natural products. Lau, citing IRI figures, said while 31% of consumers said they are looking for natural ingredients, 43% of millennials said they are looking for natural ingredients. They also are looking for lighter textures, so Sundial has launched such formats as SheaMoisture African Black Soap + Bamboo Charcoal Foaming Facial Wash and African Black Soap + Bamboo Charcoal Gelee Moisturizer.

Nyakio Grieco, founder of another Sundial brand, nyakio, said sourcing is important too. “It’s really an exciting time for naturals, plant based, organic and fair trade,” she said. The brand, launched in March, uses manketti, neroli, maracuja and yangu oils, as well as red ginseng and quinoa from Kenya, China, Brazil, Spain, Egypt, India, Morocco and Peru.

Other manufacturers agree that the way shoppers view the skin care category has changed.

“Consumer expectations have shifted so much,” said Barbara Roll, senior vice president of marketing at Simi Valley, Calif.-based Derma E. “Consumers thought if skin care was highly scientific, patented and unique, that means it works for them. Today, they worry it’s over processed and synthetic, and they are looking for more natural, healthy solutions that do not negatively impact their body.”

For example, Roll said, Derma E offers a line of vitamin C products, including Micellar Cleansing Water, Concentrated Serum, Renewing Moisturizer and Intense Night Cream. The health messaging makes sense for drug stores. “Consumers go to stores understanding that vitamin C is good for them,” she said. “It’s the food-to-face trend. The consumer is looking to identify the ingredients, and if it’s easier to understand it’s good for them, they are more likely to try it.”

As with many other categories, the fact that consumers are genuinely curious about what’s in the products they use can help boost sales.

“Customer knowledge, education and curiosity are driving the market,” said Kelli A. Rodriguez, director of sales and marketing for the U.S. at Kamedis. “Consumers want to learn and understand the products they are using.”

Since consumers are now reading labels, that has pushed skin care companies to show more transparency and work with cleaner formulas and safer ingredients, said Monica Siclovan, manager of marketing and creative at Éclair Naturals in Chatsworth, Calif. “What used to be a trend is now mainstream,” she said. “Natural beauty care products are present in almost every store, and it is now common for the natural body lotions, scrubs and other skin care products to be merchandised alongside the conventional products in the main set.”

Éclair Naturals searches for cleaner, more effective alternatives to chemical ingredients. Siclovan said one of the company’s most popular products, the Fizzy Bath Cupcake, is now made with Dead Sea salt, which has a rich mineral content.

Like Éclair Naturals, Kamedis, which is based in Israel and has U.S. headquarters in San Francisco, specializes in botanical products that are free of parabens and steroids. One of the challenges, Rodriguez said, is that there was a misconception that natural items did not work as well as other items. Company founder Roni Kramer worked with the Kamedis research and development laboratories and explored more than 400 traditional Chinese medicinal botanical extracts to choose 12 hero botanicals, which the company said have the most effective biological effect on the skin for a specific skin disorder.

Among the newest products are Clear for acne; Control for such scalp issues as dandruff and eczema; and Calm for eczema, rashes and other irritated skin. “We remove or limit harsh or aggressive ingredients, and in doing so patients are able to continue their skin condition regimen without side effects or adverse events,” Rodriguez said.

Certain natural claims can be misleading, said Ingrid Jackel, CEO of Pasadena, Calif.-based Yes To. “You can claim your natural percentage by counting water,” she said. “We exclude water, to be tougher on ourselves. We say we want to be 95% natural or over.”

The company’s new Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal line includes masks, micellar cleansing water, facial scrubs and other products. The items are geared to millennials, whose beauty regimen is different from that of other age groups. For example, Jackel said, masks used to be a once a year spa treatment, and today millennials use masks daily.

As the category changes and the number of plant-based and natural offerings increase, more consumers need help navigating the skin care selection and understanding what a product does. In-store education can play a role.

“Getting the consumer educated in a fun, simple manner right there, in the store, is the best way to create excitement and interest in the products sitting on the shelf,” Siclovan said. “Whether it is a product benefit or a social cause the manufacturer supports, it is essential that consumers feel good about the product they are looking to purchase. Pair that with a good product value and you’ve got a winner.”

To drive sales, Sundial’s Lau said, drug stores might borrow a concept from prestige stores that have diagnostic tools that show consumers what skin care regimen they should use. The low-tech version, having well-informed staff answer questions about the different formats and products, can work too. Also it helps to make the skin care aisle fun. “Skin care is a transformative experience that they want to indulge themselves with,” she said. “It’s no longer drab. It’s playful.”

Drug stores also have an opportunity to differentiate themselves through their exclusive products that deliver on millennial needs, according to Grace Manzano, senior marketing manager at Cypress, Calif.-based private label and licensed products company United Exchange. One of the biggest skin care trends is K-Beauty, which Manzano said is an area where United Exchange can help retailers bring unique products to market.

“We have teams in L.A. and in Korea, so we really have the pulse on K-Beauty,” she said. “If something new is coming out, if there is an affordable solution, we can offer it up almost at the same time.”

In the current beauty climate, Manzano said, high-performing skin care no longer needs to be found exclusively in high-dollar doors.

“Beauty is more accessible to everyone, not just in prestige channels,” she said. “You can get really good products and solutions that address your need in drug store aisles.”

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