PHARMACY

Q&A: FLAVORx delivers on brand promise

BY DSN STAFF

 

 

Drug Store News sat down with FLAVORx CEO Stuart Amos to discuss rebranding, giving consumers "power of choice" and elevating the customer experience.


DSN: FLAVORx last year rebranded themselves with the tagline “Healthy Kids + Happy Moms”. How should this message resonate with retailers?
 
Stuart Amos: Last year we dedicated ourselves to uncovering the strategic initiatives in retail pharmacy and how we could better fit the needs of all of our customers. After countless discussions with pharmacy leaders we quickly discovered that we have an excellent product, but we just weren’t telling the right story. FLAVORx has now shifted its focus to customer engagement, personalization and shopper delight, moving away from simply flavoring yucky tasting medicine, which is how most people think of us. 
 
Giving children more control of  the medicine-time experience is a very popular theme. By that, I mean our products give pharmacy customers the power of choice when it comes to the taste of their medicine. It’s a fact that emerging new buying markets, Millennials and Latinas, are looking for choice and personalization. FLAVORx can give pharmacists and pharmacy techs the power to better engage with their customers and connect with them on a more personal level. And more importantly, they are helping remove the stress of medicine-time for children and parents.
 
DSN: How is FLAVORx delivering on that brand promise?
 
Stuart Amos: Our job is to work with pharmacy executives and field teams to help them maximize the impact of the flavor choice program while minimizing or eliminating the impact on pharmacy workflow. All pharmacies have a core focus and we would never ask them to lose sight of those initiatives. Based on everything we’ve seen, heard, and read, we strongly believe we compliment most pharmacy goals very well. We have recently partnered with WSL Strategic, a retail analysis company, to help us and our pharmacy partners understand each other better and come together to elevate the customer experience.
 
We are also committed delivering new innovate products, including OTC options like Pill Glide, that fit a customer need. Our goal is for FLAVORx products to continue to surprise and delight the pharmacy customer.
 

DSN: What are some of the new system introductions that are helping FLAVORx improve pharmacy flow?
 
Stuart Amos: The Fillmaster Plus continues to be very popular with pharmacy operators, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Feedback from Fillmaster Plus customers has exceeded even our expectations due to how quickly and accurately the technology reconstitutes medication and simplifies the flavoring process. We’ve even begun work on a fully automated device that eliminates all the time it takes to change the taste of antibiotics. We expect to have this technology available to the market later this year. 
 
Of particular note is the FillPure Water Quality Assurance Program, available through our sister company, Fillmaster Systems. With FillPure, we take responsibility for water filtration system maintenance and reporting, ensuring pharmacies are dispensing the highest quality water possible for all their customers. FillPure is currently in use in over 14,000 pharmacies across the country. 

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PHARMACY

Standley defines ‘pillars of Rx value’

BY Michael Johnsen

“You’re going to need a bigger boat,” Steve Anderson, president and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, told attendees of the NACDS Annual Meeting Business Program Sunday morning. Anderson was alluding to that scene in “Jaws” when the monster shark first broke through the water, representing the change facing this industry. It’s big, it’s fast and if you don’t figure out how to ride it or get out of the way, chances are you’ll end up as shark bait.

There are a lot of forces driving change in the delivery of health care and, thanks in part to the stewardship of NACDS, members are not on that boat passively riding the crest of change, they’re helping to captain that vessel.

“Last year, when I began my term as chairman, I was struck by how these next few years will be a critical time for our industry,” said John Standley, chairman and CEO of Rite Aid, in his final keynote address as NACDS chairman. “Health care is undergoing historic change, which is creating unprecedented demands on our business, but also enormous opportunities to grow.”

In his address, Standley outlined five pillars of value that NACDS uses to support its advocacy of the industry.

First, there is the strengthening relationships among NACDS members, the best example of which is NACDS Total Store Expo. “There is meaningful overlap throughout all functions of our business, and that’s what the Total Store Expo is all about,” Standley said.

The second pillar is protecting access. NACDS successfully argued recently to maintain retail pharmacy access for TRICARE patients on the strength that traditional retail pharmacy services still provide value, for example.

NACDS also is helping to expand access to convenience-driven health services outside of filling prescriptions, which is the third pillar of value. Standley noted that while 35% of Americans don’t have a primary care physician, 90% live within five miles of a pharmacy.

In addition, NACDS is providing the framework to actively train up-and-coming pharmacists for the future, the fourth crucial pillar of value supported by NACDS.

Finally, NACDS helps tell the story of retail pharmacy, making sure that members of Congress are well aware of the myriad of potential the retail drug store industry can bring to the delivery of healthcare services. Standley noted that Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., once told him: “When I make important policy decisions, I want to hear from the people on the front lines.”

That kind of Congressional sentiment underscores NACDS’ leading role in driving positive healthcare change — it can be seen in the relationships NACDS board members have forged with lawmakers, Anderson said. “You can’t develop consensus if you don’t develop relationships.”

Brian McNamara, region head of Europe and the Americas for GSK Consumer Healthcare, also alluded to the change gripping the consumer health industry. McNamara identified three areas where the industry can do better in terms of supporting retail partners: supply chain excellence, driving truly differentiated, consumer-focused innovation and ensuring that processes remain nimble and flexible regardless of the size of the company.

Wrapping up the lineup of speakers Sunday morning, futurist and executive director of Singularity University Salim Ismail talked about the concept behind the doubling of change factors that has been disrupting industry after industry, from the business of photography to automobile manufacturing. “We’re in a world today where either you’re the disruptor or the disrupted,” he said. Some of the long-term disruptive opportunities for pharmacies include medical diagnoses and in-store 3-D printing, Ismail suggested.

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Walgreens: Cases of whooping cough up four times in Washington

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. – As Washington reaches more than four times the number of reported whooping cough cases compared to the same time last year, Walgreens has responded by continuing to offer vaccinations that provide protection against pertussis (whooping cough) at all of its more than 130 pharmacies throughout the state. The Washington State Department of Health is urging vaccination, Walgreens reported. 
 
“We support the recommendations of health officials and stress that vaccination is the best protection people can get from whooping cough,” said Sepi Soleimanpour, Washington regional healthcare director for Walgreens. “Walgreens pharmacists continue to play an important role in providing more convenient access to vaccinations and other preventive services in communities across the state.”
 
Walgreens pharmacists in Washington can administer immunizations to anyone age 7 and older.
 
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