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Cardinal Health Foundation develops new guidelines for medication disposal days

BY Allison Cerra

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health announced that the Cardinal Health Foundation has developed new guidelines that are designed to help pharmacists and healthcare professionals understand the steps involved in hosting medication disposal days.

The new guidelines, which can be found at CardinalHealth.com/GenerationRx, include information on how to contact local partners, obtain necessary permits and drive participation in medication disposal days. They also include tips on optimal timing and locations for these events, a list of needed supplies, and follow-up steps for how to share the results.

Cardinal Health — in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Agency, local law enforcement, community partners and a large central Ohio health system — has cosponsored several medication take-back events near its headquarters in central Ohio. Combined, these medication disposal days successfully have collected and destroyed nearly 4,000 lbs. of unused and expired medications, Cardinal Health Foundation said.

Prescription drug abuse is the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States and the leading cause of accidental death in 16 states, plus the District of Columbia, Cardinal Health said.

“We’ve received a great response to our medication disposal days, and many of our retail pharmacy customers, in particular, have long been interested in tools that can help them understand how to host these sometimes complex events in their own communities,” Cardinal Health SVP retail independent sales Steve Lawrence said. “We hope our new guidelines will encourage more pharmacists and health care providers to work with the DEA and local law enforcement to provide their communities with safe ways to dispose of medications.”

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P&G reveals survey data on power of a smile among Hispanics, launches new Complete collection

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI — In conjunction with the launch of Procter & Gamble’s new Crest & Oral-B Complete collection, the company released survey findings on the contributing influence of quality oral care among Hispanics, revealing the empowering effect of a nice smile.

The survey, which polled 2,000 Hispanic adults nationwide, showed the majority (nearly 80%) of Hispanic adults nationwide believe that people with nicer smiles simply are more successful. The survey also demonstrated how Hispanics prioritize the value of having a nice smile. For example, almost 60% of Hispanics would rather be confident about their smile than about their physical figure, despite today’s emphasis on an ideal body weight. Hispanics also reported to be less likely to leave home without brushing their teeth, compared with other personal care routines, such as washing their face or combing their hair.

However, education about good oral care is not always consistent within the Hispanic community, and nearly 4-out-of-10 Hispanic adults nationwide admit to hiding their smiles because they are uncomfortable showing their teeth, according to P&G. These statistics, combined with data that show more than 90% are worried about the health of their teeth, give Hispanics cause for re-evaluating their oral care routine.

“As a U.S. leader in oral care products, Crest & Oral-B has a rich heritage in bringing families complete solutions for their oral care needs,” P&G North American oral care associate marketing director Dennis Legault said. “The new Complete product collection was designed for those consumers who want simple, effective products that they know will work. Crest & Oral-B Complete features products that people can feel working, so they can go about their day feeling confident about their oral care.”

As part of the Crest & Oral-B Complete collection, new Crest Complete Multi-Benefit Whitening + Deep Clean toothpaste is designed to provide up to two times cleaner feeling. Its combination of ingredients — now with 33% more silica than regular toothpaste and the polyionic complex made of three cleaning ingredients — leaves the mouth with a lasting clean feeling, according to P&G.

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Study: Pharmacy customers expect shorter wait times, more services

BY Alaric DeArment

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Customers have higher expectations of shorter wait times and expect more from the pharmacist and pharmacy staff, according to a new survey released Tuesday by J.D. Power and Associates.

The market research firm surveyed more than 12,300 consumers who filled a new prescription or refilled a prescription during the three months before the 2011 National Pharmacy Study was fielded, between May and June. The study, now in its fifth year, found that among chain drug store customers who waited an average of less than three minutes to give their prescription information to pharmacy staff, satisfaction averaged 836 on a 1,000-point scale, but declined to 783 among those who have to wait more than three minutes. By contrast, last year, the window was seven minutes.

Meanwhile, supermarket pharmacies ranked higher than chain drug stores, at 826, compared with 808 for the latter. Mass merchandisers ranked the lowest, at 797, but performed well in terms of cost competitiveness.

"Customers are expecting more from their brick-and-mortar pharmacy — not just in terms of wait time, but also in terms of contact with the pharmacist and pharmacy staff," J.D. Power senior director of the healthcare practice Rick Millard said. "In fact, brick-and-mortar pharmacies are able to better differentiate themselves by offering additional services from the pharmacy staff. These personal contacts may help distinguish the store experience as satisfying for pharmacy customers."

Millard said customers at pharmacies could benefit from talking with their pharmacist in a private area, signing up for automatic refills and using pharmacies for things like health testing and wellness services.

While fewer customers using mail-order pharmacies said they would switch to getting their prescriptions through retailers, overall satisfaction with mail-order pharmacies has declined since 2010. Customers required by insurance providers to use mail order for maintenance and repeat prescriptions rated their satisfaction at 771, compared with 836 for those not required to use mail order; but those using mail-order pharmacy show greater satisfaction when they can request free overnight delivery.

"In an era when online retailers like Amazon and Zappos have set new standards for speed and convenience, customers are looking for more efficiency in their pharmacy transactions as well," Millard said. "There’s a clear opportunity for mail-order pharmacies to improve on the logistical aspects of the transaction."

The study also ranked the top chains according to segment. Among chain drug stores, Good Neighbor Pharmacy and Health Mart ranked at 851, followed by The Medicine Shoppe at 831. Target led mass merchandisers, with a score of 846, followed by 837 for Sam’s Club and 834 for Costco. Among supermarkets, Publix had the highest score, 867, while Wegmans had 848 and Winn-Dixie had 834. Kaiser Permanente had the highest score among mail-order pharmacies, 848, followed by Humana RightSourceRx’s 840 and 813 for Express Scripts.

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