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DSNTV: Bob Mauch, President, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp.

BY Rob Eder

Mauch talked about the company’s “patient-minded” approach to the business, the work it is doing to collect insights about its customers and how AmerisourceBergen’s tools and solutions — including the new ABC Order customer ordering platform, which debuted at ThoughtSpot 2016 — is making it easier for its customers to do business with AmerisourceBergen.

“Being patient-minded for us is how we deliver on our promise to our customers,” Mauch told DSN. “That service we provide is about more — it’s not just about the service. It’s about making sure they have the time to care for their patients. Every decision we make has a patient on the other end of it, and therefore we make better decisions.

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DSN interviews AmerisourceBergen, Good Neighbor Pharmacy leaders 
for special installment of Executive Viewpoint video series

BY Rob Eder

In late July, Drug Store News traveled to Las Vegas to cover AmerisourceBergen ThoughtSpot 2016 for a series of special reports. In a succession of exclusive interviews, DSN editors sat down with key members of the company’s senior leadership team to get a better sense of the work AmerisourceBergen is doing across the organization to make it easy for its customers to focus on their businesses, find the “Time for Care” — the theme for this year’s ThoughtSpot conference — for their patients and drive profitable growth in a highly competitive pharmacy market.

The exclusive DSN video interview series from AmerisourceBergen ThoughtSpot 2016 includes:

Bob Mauch, President, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp.

Mauch talked about the company’s “patient-minded” approach to the business, the work it is doing to collect insights about its customers and how AmerisourceBergen’s tools and solutions — including the new ABC Order customer ordering platform, which debuted at ThoughtSpot 2016 — is making it easier for its customers to do business with AmerisourceBergen. “Being patient-minded for us is how we deliver on our promise to our customers,” Mauch told DSN. “That service we provide is about more — it’s not just about the service. It’s about making sure they have the time to care for their patients. Every decision we make has a patient on the other end of it, and therefore we make better decisions. (Click here to view video.)


Brian NightengaleBrian Nightengale, President, Good Neighbor Pharmacy

The new Good Neighbor Pharmacy president, who made his first public appearance in his new role at AmerisourceBergen ThoughtSpot 2016, shared his unlikely path to a career in pharmacy with DSN, and talked about how his previous 20-year experience with Xcenda — a division of AmerisourceBergen focused on outcomes research, reimbursement and market access for pharmaceutical companies looking to commercialize innovative new products — will help shape his leadership and his vision for Good Neighbor Pharmacy. “Working for 20 years, creating data and evidence to support why a payer should cover a medication” has helped prepare him for his new responsibilities, Nightengale told DSN. “What I’m really excited about with Good Neighbor Pharmacy is taking that leap from proving the value of a pharmaceutical, to now proving the value of the community pharmacist.” (Click here to view video.)


Peyton HowellPeyton Howell, EVP/President, Global Sourcing and Manufacturer Relations, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp.

Howell, whose team works to connect AmerisourceBergen’s customers with the manufacturer community, discussed the company’s efforts to strengthen its negotiations with vendors and how AmerisourceBergen’s strategic alliance with Walgreens Boots Alliance is allowing it to leverage its massive scale, helping to drive down costs and open up access for independent community pharmacy — a critical focus for her group, she told DSN. “The No. 1 thing we focus on with manufacturers is patient access,” she said. “That’s important because it’s very easy for a manufacturer to look at a specialty product and limit distribution and access … for community pharmacy. But if the patient is actually presenting in the community pharmacy, you’re really missing the opportunity for that pharmacist to service that patient’s full needs. (Click here to view video.)


Chuck BallChuck Ball, SVP, Distribution Services, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp.

Ball talked to DSN about the work the company has done to improve its customer experience, including a massive $1 billion investment in infrastructure that has modernized its supply chain, including several new distribution centers and new technology that is helping to make it easier for its customers to do business with AmerisourceBergen — and helping the company reach new levels of what Ball describes as “operational agility.” Using the example of a recent major generic drug launch, Ball told DSN about how the investments are allowing AmerisourceBergen to respond faster than ever to customer and manufacturer needs. “Because of FDA requirements, we couldn’t release the orders until 12:01 am that Monday, but the manufacturer wanted distribution to all customers on Monday morning,” he explained, adding that in the past, it would have had to deliver the orders that Tuesday. “I am proud to say we got 99.9% of the product delivered on Monday.” (Click here to view video.)


Chuck ReedChuck Reed, Group VP, Pharmacy Innovation and Solutions, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp.

Reed told DSN about the work AmerisourceBergen has done to build its Elevate Provider Network into a “smarter” pharmacy services administration organization, enabling its customers to maximize reimbursement opportunities, plug profit leaks, deliver access to patient lives, and perhaps most important, how it is helping its customers to outperform the rest of the pharmacy market in both the EQuIPP Star ratings and prescription growth. “Seventy percent of our members have a five-star ranking in one or more of the adherence measures in the EQuIPP Star ratings system. Of those, 40% of our stores have one or more scores in the top 20% of all pharmacies,” Reed said. And citing data from IMS for the 12 months ended May 2016, “the market grew at 1.9%,” he told DSN. “Drug chains had only 2.9% growth and independents were flat, yet our independents grew 3.4%.” (Click here to view video.)


Peter Kounelis, VP, Elevate Provider Network

Kounelis talked to DSN about Good Neighbor Pharmacy’s unique approach to preferred pharmacy networks, how its strategy differs from its competitors, what factors impact the company’s decision to participate — or not to participate — in a preferred network, and how it is educating its Good Neighbor Pharmacy customers on why participating in every network can hurt their business. “Two years ago, we caught a lot of heat because many of our competitors were putting out information that you absolutely needed to be in every preferred cost-share network because otherwise you’d lose access to patients,” he told DSN in a candid discussion. “Not only was that not true, it turned out it wasn’t a very smart strategy. There is a point of diminishing return where participating in every network … because you lose the ability — the time, the resources, the wherewithal — to treat the patients you have. At some point it just collapses on its own logic.” (Click here to view video.)

Jennifer Zilka, VP, Business Coaching and Pharmacy Ownership, Good Neighbor Pharmacy
Zilka talked to DSN about the work of the company’s business coaching and pharmacy ownership teams, how the two are interconnected, and how they are helping Good Neighbor Pharmacy owners manage and grow their businesses — both at the pharmacy, as well as the often over-looked front-end of the store — and how they are “helping independent pharmacy stay independent” by matching the right buyers and sellers. “My teams are both an investment in the independent pharmacy owner — our sole goal is to help them be more successful,” Zilka told DSN. “We’re not selling them anything. By helping to keep them in the community, continuing a legacy, maximizing the value of the business, we really get behind the counter and become one of them. It’s rare that they don’t think of us as an extension of their own staff.” (Click here to view video.)

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Belkin introduces Powerhouse Dock for iPhone, Apple Watch

BY Gina Acosta

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. — As sales of smartphone accessories continue to skyrocket, Belkin is bringing an innovative new Apple charging dock to market.

The Belkin Powerhouse Charge Dock for Apple Watch + iPhone offers consumers an easy 2-in-1 solution for turn-key charging. 

"Most people who have an Apple watch also have an iPhone, so a combined charging solution just makes sense," said Melody Saffery, senior director of product management at Belkin. "The Powerhouse Charge Dock is designed with the consumer in mind – it organically integrates both chargers into its design so all you need to do is plug it in and go."

In a recent report from IHS Technology, sales for smartwatches and smartphone companions are expected to nearly double from 61 million in 2016 to 110 million in 2020.

The Powerhouse Dock offers:

• Built-in Apple Watch magnetic charging module with integrated lightning connector for the iPhone
• Integrated 2-in-1 charging solution optimally charges the Apple Watch and iPhone simultaneously
• Elevated design keeps the Apple Watch and iPhone more protected and easier to see while charging  
• MFi certification ensures that this product passed rigorous mechanical, stress, and electrical tests per Apple standards

The Powerhouse Charge Dock is available for an MSRP of $99 at retailers nationwide.

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