Drugstore.com reports booming business, plans for expansion with microsite
BELLEVUE, Wash. While retailers have experienced flat to declining revenues through the current recession, Drugstore.com’s online business is booming on account of two trends: 1. over-the-counter medicines and beauty products which are historically recession-resistant, and 2. more consumers are turning to the Internet in their search of deals.
“Overall revenues [for the quarter] were $100.3 million, the highest in company history,” Dawn Lepore, Drugstore.com CEO and chairman, told analysts Thursday evening. “OTC revenue grew 10% despite flat-to-declining e-commerce industry trends.”
And the online West Coast retailer envisions that OTC revenue continue its upward climb by hundreds of basis points going forward, thanks in part to Drugstore.com’s corporate partnerships with Medco and Rite Aid and the imminent launch of a new Drugstore.com concept called “microsites,” where Drugstore.com will create an online destination center around specific OTC categories that go beyond the offerings available on its core site.
Drugstore.com on June 1 officially launched its online Medco Health Store — a branded Medco site powered by Drugstore.com where Medco’s 60-million-plus covered can order over-the-counter medicines online.
“This is an exciting opportunity especially when you consider that $20 billion in pharmaceutical drug [sales] are expected to go OTC in the next five years,” Lepore said. “We offer over 20,000 of our SKUs on their site categorized [by] healthcare condition.”
And the e-retailer plans to launch its first microsite — Sexualwellbeing.com — next week with the goal of being the low-cost leader specifically in that category. “We are able to leverage our existing inventory and organization to cost-effectively launch a series of sites dedicated to specific areas,” Lepore explained. “Sexual well-being is an obvious category for a microsite. There [will be] some additional products [on that site] that may not be appropriate for the Drugstore.com site,” she added. “There are a number of categories — everything from mens to allergy — that are very promising microsites.”
Diagnostic Devices in contract with two states for Medicaid-covered blood glucose monitoring systems
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Diagnostic Devices on Wednesday announced contracts with the states of Illinois and Missouri around Medicaid coverage of its Prodigy line of blood glucose monitoring systems and test strips.
“We will continue working with other states for coverage under their Medicaid programs, and to demonstrate to them the savings Illinois and Missouri taxpayers will realize with the Prodigy family of products,” stated Rick Admani Abulhaj, Diagnostic COO.
A recent study by University of Florida PharmD candidates found the “talking” feature of the Prodigy AutoCode meter made a “significant improvement” in overall diabetes control and compliance among patients who took part, the company noted.
The Prodigy Voice meter for blind or low-vision diabetes patients has been honored with awards from both the National Federation of the Blind and the American Foundation for the Blind, the company added.
Planned Parenthood: Healthcare reform should include women
NEW YORK An executive of a healthcare provider’s local chapter wants the new healthcare reform to include women.
Paula Gianino, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, said in her column that the state governor’s Medicaid cuts reduced or eliminated insurance benefits for Missourians. Currently, 1-in-6 Missourians are uninsured, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“In 2003, the Missouri House eliminated a successful and cost-saving program that gave 30,000 Missouri women access to family-planning services,” Gianino wrote in a recent column.
Planned Parenthood serves more than 50,000 women each year by providing them with examinations, including pap smears, breast exams and tests for sexually transmitted diseases.
“In our current healthcare system, women of childbearing age spend 68% more on out-of-pocket expenses than men,” Gianino said. “A recent report by the Department of Health and Human Services titled ‘Roadblocks to Health Care: Why the Current Health Care System Does Not Work for Women’ shows that ‘women are more vulnerable to high healthcare costs… [because] women’s reproductive health requires more regular contact with health care providers, including yearly pap tests, mammograms, and obstetric care.’ And a 2009 survey conducted for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that women are delaying their annual exams as a result of the economic downturn.”
Additionally, a 2008 Kaiser Family Foundation study reported 67% of uninsured women went without needed care because of cost, as did nearly 20% of women with insurance.
“If we do not act, a health care reform proposal could be passed by Congress and sent to the president that eliminates access to previously covered services like pap smears, breast exams and comprehensive reproductive health care and that eliminates the ability to choose one’s provider of choice,” Gianino said. “This would be a huge setback for women in America.”