PHARMACY

Good Neighbor Pharmacy sets sights on future initiatives

BY Michael Johnsen

LAS VEGAS — There is plenty to look forward to in the coming year for Good Neighbor Pharmacy on both the pharmacy side of the business — medication therapy management and vaccinations, for example — as well as at the front-end of the store.

One of the themes teased during Good Neighbor Pharmacy’s ThoughtSpot 2015 conference was rejuvenating the front-end of the store as a strong revenue stream that helps differentiate the community pharmacy against big-box competitors. Improving product placement, promotion and pricing strategies can generate some $25,000 in incremental revenue each year, if not more, noted Bob Condelora, Managing Partner at Retail Insights, during a continuing education course titled, “The Best Defense is a Good Offense: Making the Most of the Pharmacy Front-End.”

“It’s all about the four ‘P’s.’ Right products, right placement, right promotion, right price. Every merchant works on those four key principles,” he said. “There’s an easy $25,000 opportunity to improve your sales and profitability.”

Front-end can be a significant profit driver for independent pharmacies, especially across five key OTC categories — cough-cold-allergy, digestive, vitamins and supplements, pain relief and home health care, added Greg Hanlon, Director of Client Engagement at Retail Insights.

And realizing that opportunity doesn’t necessarily mean shifting focus from the core pharmacy business to the front-end. Retail Insights provides performance dashboards that help Good Neighbor Pharmacy members ascertain their performance in any given category against a peer group. It’s a tool that can help operators better refine their front-end mix. “[Dashboards] should be simple and easy-to-read,” Hanlon said. “You don’t want to spend hours mining through this. You want to be able to open it and, at a glance, start to understand what’s happening or identify an area to investigate further.”

Good Neighbor Pharmacy members can also help differentiate themselves through Good Neighbor Pharmacy’s Temporary Price Reduction program, which allows independent pharmacies to access the same manufacturer promotional dollars the chains do. Good Neighbor Pharmacy remains price competitive, as price reductions are subsidized by supplier partners. “Through TPR we’ve seen a 36% increase in unit sales last year to this year, so it’s a significant change,” noted Christine Lane, VP, Good Neighbor Pharmacy.

“How do you get that incremental item in the basket to drive those additional sales?” asked Hanlon. “That’s where looking at those TPRs, those promotions [pays off]. The customers might not even know you’re in that business or you have that category.”

Hamacher Resource Group VP Dave Wendland also provided sage advice on boosting the front-end business in a CE presentation designed for pharmacy technicians titled, “Understanding Who Shops Independent Pharmacy.” “My favorite sign is ‘Pharmacist recommends,’” he said. “If you have a ‘Pharmacist recommends’ sign or a ‘Pharmacist recommends’ endcap, it engages the conversation. … There’s a way to engage [the patient] in the dialogue.”

Another key insight that Wendland shared is when categories are located closer to the pharmacy, or dual-placed, the number of recommendations increase, and as many as 80% of merchandise recommended by the pharmacist results in a sale, he added.  

Other major announcements Good Neighbor Pharmacy made this year at ThoughtSpot 2015 included how it’s supporting members with a significant investment in its Pharmacy Services Administration Organization,newly named Elevate Provider Network.

The network is appropriately named, as the key priorities for the new network are to lift up Good Neighbor Pharmacy operations by maximizing reimbursement and providing tools to improve operational efficiency. Elevate Provider Network is the only fully-integrated bundle that exists in the marketplace for one price, enabling members to evaluate data, maximize reimbursement, optimize their patient mix, track patient compliance and help engineer higher Star ratings. The new Elevate Provider Network leverages centralized data to support reimbursement discussions with payers — a key pain point for anyone in retail pharmacy, and especially for independents. The network also supports the transition from a fee-for-service model to an outcomes-based model.

Also at the 2015 ThoughtSpot conference, Good Neighbor Pharmacy rolled out improvements in medication therapy management, prescription adherence, Star ratings performance, medication synchronization and overall marketing effectiveness. Combined with merchandising, business coaching and advertising resources, the Good Neighbor Pharmacy relationship creates an optimal platform from which independents can maximize both their patient relationships as well as their clinical partnerships.

For example, one of the biggest differentiators associated with Good Neighbor Pharmacy's premier level offering is its Business Coaching program, led by Jennifer Zilka, Good Neighbor Pharmacy national director of business coaching and pharmacy ownership. “Using your pharmacy’s data, our coaches offer a second set of eyes on your business,” said David Neu, EVP retail strategy at AmerisourceBergen and president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy. “Actual results from the stores that Jenni and her team coach — stores increase their inventory on average by 1.4 turns. From a labor standpoint, coached stores realize a 5% increase in sales-per-employee on average.”

Moving into 2016, Good Neighbor Pharmacy will be making a big push around emphasizing a true point-of-differentiation — the company’s tagline being “Locally owned. Locally operated. Locally loved.” “We believe that to the consumer that’s a pretty powerful message,” Lane said. “When it comes to the core messages that we’re looking for consumers to receive, obviously it’s the pride in local community, but also the service that they’re going to get from their pharmacist. Customer service is the ticket to entry for any business today, … but it’s really the personalized care that we provide that helps set Good Neighbor Pharmacy apart.”

Good Neighbor Pharmacy also will be promoting its ability to help manage a different disease state each quarter, such as Alzheimer’s, for example. And there will be a big push around the network’s social properties, Lane said.

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AmerisourceBergen acquires PharMEDium Healthcare Holdings

BY Michael Johnsen

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. – AmerisourceBergen on Tuesday announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase PharMEDium Healthcare Holdings, the privately held leading national provider of outsourced compounded sterile preparations to acute care hospitals in the United States, from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice for $2.6 billion in cash. 
 
“The acquisition of PharMEDium strengthens our core business and meaningfully expands our innovative service offerings for health systems,” stated Steven Collis, AmerisourceBergen president and CEO. “PharMEDium’s impressive track record of growth and proven ability to consistently deliver high quality CSPs in key therapeutic areas make them the undisputed leader in an important growth area of the U.S. healthcare market. PharMEDium is a compelling addition to our business, which allows us to provide differentiated offerings and further increases our ability to drive both value and efficiency for our health systems customers in a way that enhances patient safety and helps improve patient outcomes.”
 
PharMEDium is a provider of customized outsourced CSPs that meet specific hospital and physician clinical needs and quality standards in formulations that are not otherwise commercially available. PharMEDium will become a part of AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation. 
 
PharMEDium delivers “sterile to sterile” CSPs in a ready to use form with enhanced safety, labeling, sterility assurance and extended expiration dating supported by appropriate studies that often exceeds what hospital pharmacies can accomplish on their own. PharMEDium maintains four compounding facilities, provides a broad range of 2,000 SKUs and serves over 3,000 hospital customers across all 50 states.
 
Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisor, and Cravath, Swaine & Moore provided legal counsel to AmerisourceBergen. J.P. Morgan Securities and Credit Suisse acted as financial advisors, and Debevoise & Plimpton and K&L Gates provided legal counsel to PharMEDium.
 
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Ansell celebrates 50 years manufacturing Gammex surgical gloves

BY Michael Johnsen

ISELIN, N.J. – Ansell last week announced its 50th year designing and manufacturing Gammex surgical gloves. 
 
“2015 undoubtedly marks a year of achievement for Ansell and Gammex, but it also reminds us of the work we have ahead of us,” stated Tony Lopez, president and general manager of the Medical Global Business Unit at Ansell. “We must continue creating and innovating in order to provide OR nurses, surgeons and other healthcare workers with equipment that not only allows them to do their best work, but keeps them and their patients safe.”
 
Two years ago, Ansell celebrated the introduction of its proprietary Sensoprene formulation in its Gammex non-latex product offerings. The formulation offers a solution for Type 1 (latex) and Type IV (chemical) allergies while providing a level of sensitivity and comfort. Among healthcare providers, the incidence of latex allergies has been reported to be as high as 17% and glove-related chemical allergies as high as 33%.  
 
In celebration of the 50th Anniversary, Gammex is launching its newest glove with Sensoprene formulation – the Non-Latex Underglove. This unique surgical underglove sets a new standard for allergy management, and when used in combination with Gammex Non-Latex Sensitive surgical gloves, offers easy identification of a glove breach with its contrasting green color. Ansell also provides Gammex products with Antimicrobial Technology, which are designed to help address the problem of surgical site infections and help reduce the risk of microbial transmission. Though the products are only available for sale in select countries, Ansell is working with regulatory bodies across the globe to bring this technology to market.
 
Gammex surgical gloves were first introduced in 1965 by Harvey Ansell, the son of Ansell founder Eric Norman Ansell, who had the vision of creating and packaging disposable gloves already sterilized for use via gamma radiation. His dream became reality when Gammex gloves flooded the Australian market in 1966. By 1967, the Company was ready to penetrate offshore markets. Over the course of the next 50 years, new technologies, packaging and products launched under the Gammex brand would keep healthcare workers protected around the world.  
 
To culminate the 50th Anniversary global campaign, Ansell has partnered with Direct Relief to set a goal of donating 50,000 pairs of gloves this year. Every message captured to its global eCard, will equate to a donation of 50 pairs of gloves. To join Ansell in celebrating this milestone and to sign the Anniversary eCard, visit: www.gammex50.com.
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