PHARMACY

Pushing the envelope in food, beauty

BY Antoinette Alexander

It has been a year since Loblaw Co. completed its acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart in a $12.4 billion deal that created a retailing powerhouse.

(Click here to view the full report.)

Shoppers Drug Mart is tapping into Loblaw’s strengths and expertise as evidenced by the expansion of its fresh foods pilot. Since October, six Shoppers Drug Mart stores in Toronto have been piloting an improved convenience food offering, including fresh produce, meats and prepared meals. The pilot is expanding to Regina, where eight Shoppers Drug Marts are being renovated by May.

Also at the front end, Shoppers Drug Mart continues to push the envelope in beauty with its enhanced beautyBOUTIQUE. In August, the company unveiled its fourth location.

Housing 21 prestige brands, the beautyBOUTIQUE features new fixtures, digital signage, enhanced fragrance and dermatology areas.

Pharmacy, however, remains an extremely critical component of its business.

Among the more recent developments is that Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacists in Alberta can now offer flu screenings in store — a first for Canadian pharmacies. Patients can now get screened for influenza A or B using a new flu screening tool available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart. Results are available 10 minutes after the screening is administered. In Alberta, many pharmacists now have additional prescribing authorization, which gives them the ability to prescribe treatment depending on screening results.

To help curb medication errors and reduce hospital readmissions, five Shoppers Drug Mart locations in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, teamed up with Health Sciences North/Horizon Santé-Nord to launch a pilot project. Patients who are being discharged from North/Horizon Santé-Nord are advised to have a consultation with their Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist to discuss all the medications they are currently taking, in addition to new medications prescribed.

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PHARMACY

Gaining insight on quality measures

BY Michael Johnsen

Picking up almost 600 new stores in 2014, McKesson’s Health Mart is a forward-thinking pharmacy franchisor that focuses on a key component of community pharmacy success — the pharmacist-patient relationship. That personal relationship is becoming more important as the industry moves toward value-based reimbursements influenced by measured patient outcomes.

(Click here to view the full report.)

“To help our Health Mart pharmacies get more insights into their performance on the important quality measures, Health Mart has provided our members access to EQuIPP, an online platform that makes pharmacy performance data available to health plans and community pharmacy organizations,” Sarah Torbin, McKesson spokeswoman, told Drug Store News. “Using this platform, the stores can review their performance data, compare their performance to industry benchmarks and identify areas in patient care and clinical outcomes that could be improved.”

To help pharmacists build relationships with healthcare professionals in their community, McKesson offers its Physician Outreach Program that provides physician-specific data on more than 1.5 million prescribers, identifies high-opportunity prescribers and determines the best mix of services to offer. Last year, McKesson added patient visibility to the program, where users are able to see aggregated de-identified patient data.

And Health Mart in 2014 added more flexibility to its Local Marketing Support program in an effort to make marketing efforts more local. Health Mart pharmacies now have access to the Marketing Hub, Health Mart’s marketing portal designed to give owners the flexibility to promote their specific service offerings.

Health Mart also expanded Your Pharmacy Online, a consumer-facing customizable pharmacy website and mobile application that offers pharmacies a suite of services to support patient medication adherence and positive health outcomes, while driving prescription refills.

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Enhancing front end, clinical work

BY Michael Johnsen

In the past year, AmerisourceBergen has introduced a number of initiatives to help their Good Neighbor Pharmacy franchisees not only build out the clinical aspects of their business, but also develop the front ends of the pharmacy business and better connect to the patient.

(Click here to view the full report.)

“Access to patient care is extremely important,” David Neu, EVP retail strategy at AmerisourceBergen and president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy, told Drug Store News. “We do a lot to make sure that we help the pharmacist with some of their clinical needs,” he said. “We’re trying to find the balance between the training that we do on the clinical side … and what we are trying to do on the front end by giving them support from the supplier community,” Neu added.

To help improve front-end performance, Good Neighbor Pharmacy introduced its Pharmacy Transformation Services program, in which they remake a pharmacy’s front end to better meet the demands of today’s business. “This has really taken off,” Neu said, pointing to the overall 2070 lift in front-end sales across the stores that had been transformed. Other benchmarks of success include a 2.7% lift in gross margin and an overall 870 increase in prescription volume.

Supplementing that program is another true differentiator for GNP — the company’s 20 business coaches deployed across the nation. “They really just look at the overall financial health and ways to improve it,” Neu said.

To help support pharmacists’ clinical work, AmerisoureBergen recently introduced its GNP University, which so far features 11 interactive training modules. More than 25% of GNP University users are enrolled in a course bundle regarding compliance, Neu noted, offering them a one-stop-shop for the most prevalent compliance issues they face.

To better connect GNP pharmacies to patients, AmerisourceBergen boosted its social media offering with a newly refaced GNP Facebook and GNP website, and a new GNP app. “We see this as a platform for growth,” Neu said.

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