Q&A: By the Roadside, Bob Perry, Roadside Medical Clinic + Lab
Have you ever thought about what a truck driver does when they are on the road and not feeling well? Or how making a stop at the physician’s office downtown would likely mean navigating their large truck through city traffic and narrow streets? Well, Roadside Medical Clinic + Lab has thought of these questions, plus many more, so Drug Store News recently talked with the president, Bob Perry, to learn more about this innovative clinic model.
Drug Store News: How did this concept come about?
Perry: We started formulating this about four years. I grew up in the trucking industry, and my family has been professional drivers for over 70 years, and I have two brothers who are still drivers today. … In working in health and wellness for all those years, it made perfect sense. The transportation industry and these drivers are a very important asset to America and how we get all of our products and goods. … They should be at the top of food chain to have access to health care and nutrition.
DrSN: What are the main challenges truck drivers when it comes to health care?
Perry: [Health care is particularly important] in the transportation industry because of the ruggedness and the job duties. They just don’t have access. Typically, a driver starts to feel bad, and they just can’t pull into a hospital or a doctor’s office, so what they do is they continue to push themselves down the highway and then they end up very ill and they end up in the ER. …. This has always been the vision that this is a new innovative delivery of health care. We are bringing it to them on the road. … If their wheels aren’t turning, they aren’t making money, so time is of the essence for them as far as income.
DrSN: How is the model different from retail-based clinics?
Perry: We call it the three-legged stool. It is DOT compliance. … The second leg is medical services or urgent care. … The third piece is very critical for us, and that is wellness. We have a very wide menu of preventive wellness programs because what happens typically is when they come in and get their physical, the level of their health condition determines the length of card they get [which determines when they are required to return to a provider to see if their health condition has improved].
DrSN: The growth will be primarily through franchising?
Perry: That is correct. Licensing and franchising is how we are growing the model with velocity. What it does is allows us to get to market faster, and it creates an opportunity because a lot of healthcare professionals are looking for new niches.
DrSN: Are the clinics open to only truck drivers?
Perry: It is not just the professional truck driver. A lot of these locations we are in are in rural areas where there isn’t convenient health care, so we attract residential customers as well as travelers. … Also, we are making a connection with the RV industry. There are senior citizens who live on the road. They are retired and live in their RVs, and those are people who need to have regular checkups and to get new medications. Today is a mobile society.
DrSN: What does the future look like for Roadside Medical?
Perry: We are going to continue to reach out and expand more of our wellness and service offerings. … We are learning that the family [of the driver] is reaching out to us, too, so we … are working on a line of nutritional products for the spouses at home.
Late-stage clinical trial results: MS drug is effective
ALISO VIEJO, Calif. Patients taking an investigational drug for multiple sclerosis fared better than those taking placebo, according to late-stage clinical results presented Friday at a neurology conference.
Avanir Pharmaceuticals said MS patients taking Zenvia (dextromethorphan and quinidine) in 30 mg/10 mg doses experienced a 11.9% greater reduction in pseudobulbar effect – an MS-related condition also known as PBA that causes sudden, uncontrollable episodes of laughter, crying and other emotional outbursts – than those taking placebo in a 12-week phase 3 trial, results of which the company presented at the 3rd World Congress on Controversies in Neurology in Prague, Czech Republic. Patients taking the 20 mg/10 mg dose did not do better than the placebo group.
“PBA represents an area of high, unmet medical need with no FDA-approved treatments currently available,” study presenter and trial steering committee member Daniel Wynn of the Consultants in Neurology Multiple Sclerosis Center stated. “Although the involuntary emotional outbursts of PBA cause considerable impairment for millions of individuals in the United States, it is under-recognized and commonly misdiagnosed.”
New report projects 12.6% increase of probiotics market
NEW YORK The two takeaways from this story are “the [U.S.] market is expected to grow at a rate of almost 14%” and “the early movers in the industry will benefit in terms of market share.”
That about describes the opportunity in a probiotic nutshell.
The rising interest in probiotics can be credited in part to Dannon’s Activia brand, a line of yogurts and yogurt drinks, which has been heavily advertised to the American consumer with the message that not all bacteria is bad for you — and in fact some bacteria taken on a regular basis can impart some pretty significant health benefits. That advertising message — that probiotics can be an important piece in a healthier-for-you diet — has been all the more reinforced as Bayer supports its probiotic Phillips Colon Health, and as Procter & Gamble rolls out its Align probiotic.
And the consumers already are core drug store shoppers. The ratio of women to men in search of a product delivering digestive benefits is about 2-to-1, according to industry experts. When women hit their 30s and 40s, that’s the point in their lives when they’re looking for a strategy in life to help them manage their digestive issues.