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Hispanic surge bodes well for retail pharmacy

BY DSN STAFF

The U.S. Hispanic population is projected to reach 128.8 million by 2060, or more than 30% of the U.S. population. This could bode especially well for purveyors of health products and services in the pharmacy setting. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute, perhaps more than any other consumer group, Hispanics are cost-conscious, mobile savvy and do not necessarily seek health care within the traditional $2.8 trillion U.S. healthcare system.

(For the full report, including charts, click here.)

In fact, Hispanics are less likely than other consumers to use a doctor as their primary caregiver when facing a non-emergency condition (66% vs. 76%). The key attribute that makes the Hispanic demographic so critical to retail pharmacy operators is the fact that Hispanic health consumers are open to means of care that are an alternative to seeing a doctor. This means they’re not only shopping the OTC aisles more often, but Hispanic consumers also are more likely to frequent retail clinics.

According to the HRI Hispanic consumer survey, 57% of Hispanic consumers have utilized a retail clinic at least once, vs. 45% of non-Hispanics. “They may postpone or delay going to see a physician, but they may be open to seeking alternatives or alternative sources of care, whether it’s at a retail clinic or at a pharmacy,” said Frank Lemmon, strategy and operations principal for PricewaterhouseCoopers. There could be a number of factors driving that decision, Lemmon said, such as the value associated with the healthcare visit or the credence associated with pharmacy. “Because pharmacies are so prevalent in many Latin American countries, there’s more trust in the pharmacy and the pharmacist to treat their condition than there is in any sort of medical institution.”

On average, cost is most important to Hispanics when it comes to care, while quality is most important for non-Hispanics. Approximately 46% of Hispanics vs. 35% of non-Hispanics consider cost most important; 53% of non-Hispanics vs. 42% of Hispanics consider quality most important.
Hispanics also are more likely with download coupons to a phone than other consumers (25% compared with 17%). PwC suggested this might be an opportunity for pharmaceutical companies and retail pharmacies to improve medication adherence by making prescription discounts accessible by mobile devices.

Overall, more Hispanics than non-Hispanics use social media, mobile apps and Internet searches to find information about their medical care, and Hispanics are more likely to be influenced by the information when making decisions about care. According to PwC research, nearly one-fifth of Hispanics said they are already using an app or the Internet to make medical appointments. Another 31% said they would be very willing to. “For many of them, mobile is their only access to the Internet, so it’s the way they’re using technology to connect [to] social groups,” Lemmon said.

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Pez debuts new soft candy

BY Ryan Chavis

ORANGE, Conn. — Pez Candy announced the introduction of Pez Hedz, a soft-candy chew shaped in whimsical designs. 
 
Pez Hedz will be introduced with two designs: Hello Kitty in strawberry and raspberry flavors; and Pez Bearz in peach, grape and cherry flavors. The candy measures slightly larger than a quarter in size and has a gummy element to them. The raspberry-flavored Helly Kitty variety has a blueberry bow and the grape-flavored Bearz design features lemon -and strawberry-flavored ears.
 
“As has been the case for nearly 88 years, Pez has produced products with iconic shapes and character heads, Pez Hedz will continue this tradition attracting a broader range of consumers," stated Joe Vittoria, president and CEO of Pez Candy. "Whether consumers will enjoy them whole or eat the different parts one bite at a time, Pez Hedz are just as much fun as our traditional Pez dispensers and candy.”
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Lupin, Merck Serono partner to bring meds to emerging markets

BY Ryan Chavis

 

MUMBAI — Lupin has entered into a long-term partnership with Merck Serono for the implementation of the company's general medicines portfolio expansion initiative in emerging markets, helping to fulfill local needs for affordable medications. The agreement could add up to 20 new products to the current portfolio, with the first launches expected to occur in 2016. 
 
The partnership will cover major markets like Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia, among other emerging markets, and will focus on cardiovascular and diabetes diseases. 
 
“The agreement with Lupin is an exciting new approach for Merck Serono to address local health needs in fast‐growing regions with constantly increasing demand for high quality medicines from trusted companies like Merck Serono and Lupin,” said Elcin Ergun, head of global commercial at Merck Serono. “The collaboration will significantly strengthen our portfolio and Merck Serono’s position as one of the major players in emerging markets, aiming to provide patients in these regions with better access to health.” 
 
Lupin will develop products, provide dossiers and supply finished products to Merck Serono. Merck Serono will be
the marketing authorization holder for the products, and will use its commercial and medical teams to bring these new medicines to customers. Financial terms of the transaction were not released.

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