PHARMACY

CVS/pharmacy’s digital strategy yielding strong results

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Mobile. It is changing the way in which customers manage their drug store needs whether it be filling a prescription, accessing health resources or buying products, and CVS/pharmacy is aiming to take the lead in today’s digital space with a slew of innovative offerings that are yielding some significant results.

“As a pharmacy innovation company, we are committed to empowering our customers on their path to better health and have put in place an integrated digital strategy to help us serve those customers even better, across all channels and touch points. Delivering a superior mobile experience for CVS/pharmacy is a key part of that strategy, since we know our customers are digitally savvy,” said Brian Tilzer, SVP and chief digital officer, CVS Caremark.

The results? In the last year, traffic on the CVS mobile site and app increased 250%, as consumers increasingly embrace digital and the company continues to enhance its mobile suite to serve as an extension to its bricks-and-mortar stores.

Furthermore, Tilzer added, “Our own data shows steady increases in the number of customers turning to digital tools. Traffic to CVS.com increased 75% from 2012 to 2013. Last year, there were more than a million customers each month that visited CVS.com from a tablet, and that number continues to grow, particularly on mobile devices and tablets. In fact, we saw a large number of our customers transition to mobile this past year; the proportion of our overall traffic originating from mobile devices jumped from 30% in 2012 to more than 50% in 2013.”

Clearly, the increase demonstrates how customers have come to use mobile as an effective way to manage their pharmacy retail needs whether it be filling prescriptions (37% of digital refills are mobile), accessing health resources or performing shopping-related tasks such as buying products and managing their ExtraCare coupons and rewards.

Throughout 2013, the pharmacy retailer worked to enhance and expand its mobile and digital offerings. Among its newest introductions, noted by Tilzer —

  • The new Family Vitamin Center. This new health hub on CVS.com is designed to help take the confusion out of the vitamin aisle and features an interactive questionnaire and guidance tools that provide personalized supplement recommendations identifying which options are best suited to address personal wellness goals or health conditions.
  • A Drug Information Center designed to empower users by offering detailed information on prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins and supplements.
  • An iPad app designed as a 3-D rendering of the store for intuitive navigation. It has such pharmacy features as voice-activated prescription management and an ExtraCare section that lets shoppers browse available coupons and rewards and digitally send them to their ExtraCare cards with the swipe of a finger.
  • A mobile Drug Interaction Checker that was integrated into its mobile retail app. With the app, customers can manage, refill and view prescriptions, redeem savings and rewards, shop, upload photos and more.

Looking ahead, the pharmacy retailer will continue to focus on its digital strategy to deliver a differentiated customer experience.

“In 2014, mobile remains an important part of our digital strategy and we will continue to focus heavily on retail and pharmacy capabilities as well as integration across the enterprise, making it easier for our customers to engage with at any moment and most importantly to help our shoppers lead healthier lives,” Tilzer said.

 

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Novo Nordisk launches new insulin device

BY Ryan Chavis

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The new NovoPen Echo is the first and only prefilled pen device in the United States that allows for half-unit dosing in combination with a memory function, the company said.

This function not only allows for finer dosing adjustment based on the needs of the child, but will also allow parents to see how much insulin their child has taken and how much time has elapsed since the last dose was administered.

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Actavis’ Lo Loestrin Fe patent upheld

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN — Actavis last week confirmed that the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey found United States Patent No. 7,704,984 (the ‘984 Patent) to be valid and infringed by Lupin Pharmaceuticals and Amneal Pharmaceuticals Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) for generic versions of Actavis’ Lo Loestrin Fe (norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol tablets, ethinyl estradiol tablets and ferrous fumarate tablets).  

Lo Loestrin Fe is a prescription birth control pill used for the prevention of pregnancy.

"We are pleased that the Court has ruled in our favor and upheld the validity of our patent on Lo Loestrin Fe," said Paul Bisaro, chairman and CEO of Actavis. "The enforcement of our intellectual property rights is a critical tool in our ability to continue to invest in future treatments, and we intend to vigorously defend these rights against any future challenges or appeals."

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