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CVS/pharmacy, MinuteClinic declares September ‘Senior Vaccination Month’

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — In recognition of the increased risks that seniors have of developing health complications from the flu, pneumonia, shingles and other illnesses, CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic have declared September to be Senior Vaccination Month and will be working to raise awareness about the importance of vaccinations for their senior patients.

"Getting vaccinated is an important step you can take to protect yourself and your family, especially if you're a senior and at higher risk," said Troyen A. Brennan, chief medical officer, CVS Caremark. "While people of any age should receive their recommended vaccines, seniors are particularly vulnerable when they don't get vaccinated. That is why CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic are making it as convenient as possible for seniors, as well as other customers to receive their vaccines and stay on their path to better health."     

A recent consumer survey by CVS/pharmacy showed that 3-out-of-5 adults in the United States are not aware of the importance of the high dose flu vaccine in preventing the flu for adults ages 65 years and up. The survey also showed that nearly 1-out-of-3 Americans say they have a role in helping an elderly family member or loved one make health care decisions, including whether to get a flu shot.

"It is estimated that one in six people in the United States are expected to catch the flu this season and getting vaccinated is the most effective way to be protected," said Nancy Gagliano, chief medical officer, MinuteClinic. "Because the start of flu season is unpredictable from year to year, it is recommended that people get their flu shots as soon as vaccine is available."

CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic can directly bill many national and regional health insurance plans that cover all or part of the cost of a flu shot. Many vaccines, including the regular flu shot, are considered a preventive service under the Affordable Care Act, and so are fully covered and available at no cost through most insurance plans, including Medicare Part B.  

Customers who get a flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic receive a CVS/pharmacy Shopping Pass that can be used with the CVS/pharmacy ExtraCare Rewards card to save 20% off non-pharmacy purchases up to a maximum value of $20.
 

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Rx Safes introduces in-home medication lockbox

BY Michael Johnsen

HENDERSON, Nev. — Rx Safes, manufacturer of fingerprint recognition home prescription lockboxes, on Thursday announced that it is waging a new war on drugs to reduce prescription drug abuse, backed by a national media campaign.
 
More than 2,500 children a day experiment with prescription drugs for the first time and these drugs are easily accessed from unsecured medicine cabinets, closets and drawers.  Rx Safes offers the Rx DrugSAFE fingerprint medication lockbox, as a state of the art tool to secure medication. 
 
"Rx Safes is determined to help fight this battle at the source. This is a very serious problem and we are launching this campaign to create awareness about the issue and provide a real solution," said Lorraine Yarde, CEO of Rx Safes.
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GMA study: CPG companies need to unlock digital opportunities

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Consumer packaged goods companies need to plan for a “1-5-10” market in the United States during the next five years, in which digital’s current 1% penetration will likely expand to 5% and could accelerate to as much as 10% in short order, according to a new report, "The Digital Future: A Game Plan for Consumer Packaged Goods," prepared for the Grocery Manufacturers Association by The Boston Consulting Group, Google and IRI. 
 
The report highlights how CPG companies can best position themselves for growth and unlock digital and e-commerce opportunities.
 
Digital penetration of 5% represents nearly one-half of total CPG growth during the next five years, meaning that companies without an effective digital capability risk stagnation, loss of share and even shrinking sales. Early movers, on the other hand, have the opportunity to establish leading positions that will be difficult for others to infiltrate. Digital penetration rates will vary in different locations and categories. Some categories could see digital penetration of 30% or more by 2018.
 
“Like most other industries, the CPG industry is experiencing the signs of digital disruption,” said Elise Fennig, VP industry affairs at GMA. “That’s why it was vitally important for GMA to examine how CPG companies can holistically adapt their digital and e-commerce agendas to plan for the future effectively. We intend for the work completed by the BCG, IRI and Google team to be a go-to resource for GMA members — regardless of where they fall on the digital maturity continuum today.”
 
“The CPG industry is fast approaching a tipping point, driven by a confluence of trends,” said Patrick Hadlock, a partner at The Boston Consulting Group and a co-author of the report. “Consumers are embracing technologies, devices and services that make everyday tasks such as shopping, cooking and even commuting quicker, easier, more fun and more efficient. This is fragmenting the purchasing pathway as consumers regularly switch back and forth between digital and physical channels, and they interact digitally both in and outside of stores.”
 
The Digital Future shows that the impact of digital is felt most acutely at the early stages of the purchasing pathway. Almost 40% of offline shoppers and more than 30% of online shoppers reported that technology's impact is greatest during the discovery phase. More than a quarter of both offline and online shoppers said that its biggest impact is in the search phase. In addition, almost a quarter of in-store shoppers reported online activity as one of the three most influential factors on their purchasing pathway.
 
Digital channels currently have the greatest influence on purchases of home care and general food products but are likely to expand in importance during the next five years as the market moves to a 1-5-10 world.
 
Traditional retailers face a massive wave of new competitors and competitive models. Large technology companies with deep pockets are building disruptive digital grocery businesses to serve this category and support broader strategic goals. Start-ups are using value-added services to take share and build defensible niche positions, often by combining new product offerings with digital channels.
 
CPG manufacturers will need to participate in multiple retail models; the winning models have yet to be established, and it is likely that numerous models will prevail.
 
“The cost of inaction for incumbent manufacturers is ceding control of their brands, share position and margins in the fast-growing digital channel,” said Jamil Satchu, a partner at IRI Global Analytics and Consulting and a co-author of the report. “Companies that do not play in the digital game are likely looking at flat or shrinking sales. Brand equity is at risk as the purchasing pathway shifts online and consumers more often search for and discover brands digitally. But the experience of other sectors demonstrates that early movers often establish tough-to-trump positions and advantages.”
 
The report argues that while many companies have established a digital presence — a website, some digital advertising a presence in social media — most have yet to fully integrate digital into their operating model, build a big-data analytical capability, pursue a multichannel (or omnichannel) strategy or tailor their product offerings to the digital or e-commerce marketplace.
 
All companies can make a series of low-risk, 'no regret' moves that will better prepare them for a 1-5-10 world. These steps include developing an integrated strategy for how far the company needs to go and how to get there, shifting investments to establish a digital brand presence, building the necessary capabilities and organization for a fast-moving digital world and shaping the evolution to digital with channel partners. Manufacturers also need to recast their existing capabilities, including product placement, marketing content development and supply chain management, for the digital world.
 
 
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