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Q.bel Foods adds whole grain crispy chocolate wafers to portfolio

BY Allison Cerra

NYACK, New York — Q.bel Foods has introduced its whole grain chocolate wafer bars.

Q.bel whole grain crispy chocolate wafers, which will launch next month, are available in five flavors, including: Double Dark 70% Cacao, Minty Mint 70% Cacao, Silky Dark 55% Cacao, Peanut Buttery 36% Cacao and Simply Milk 36% Cacao.

Q.bel whole grain crispy chocolate wafers have a suggested retail of $1.29 to $1.49 each.

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Introducing DSN Patient Views

BY Rob Eder

Can you feel that? 


It’s the seismic shift that currently is occurring in health care in this country. And really, it’s just a tremor. The intense stuff isn’t expected to hit until 2014.


That’s why we’re creating “Patient Views” (see page 6), a new department that will be featured Upfront in every issue of DSN and in every edition of our daily 
e-newsletter, DSN A.M.

But let me back up here. Let’s look at health reform for a second, and for once let’s not only focus on the 32 million Americans that will be formally introduced to the healthcare system. It also is projected that millions of Americans, who today have perfectly good insurance, will likely be dumped into the exchanges as well, as many employers do the math and figure it’s cheaper to cut benefits and just pay the penalty.


Beyond that, it also is expected that new plan designs will put increasingly more of the onus on the patient to think more like a consumer — to seek the least expensive options for care, or shoulder the extra cost themselves. This will create opportunities for nontraditional competitors to step in to create new, lower-cost alternatives, the likes of which we already have begun to see with retail clinics, expanded pharmacy services, urgent care and more.


In this environment, all providers are going to be measured and compensated by the quality of the care that they deliver. All of health care will become an outcomes-based business. It’s also going to set off a whole new wave of competition for the patient — and really a whole new dimension by which to compete.


This will create new opportunities for unique partnerships; the accountable care organization model will create teams of providers working in conjunction to improve patient outcomes. But there also will be competition to become a part of an ACO. Networks will continue to narrow. Is your company in or out?


For all of the opportunity that will be created for retail pharmacy and retail clinics, there is no denying that this business will become more complex than it has ever been.


That’s why we’re doing Patient Views. To thrive in this brave new age of “healthcare retailization,” you’re going to need to be able to see around corners. You need better information — as up-to-the-minute as you can get it — about what patients are thinking and how that impacts the way they utilize health care, and inevitably how they shop your stores, if they shop your stores and where your brands fit into their lives.


That’s why we have partnered with 
AccentHealth, whose extensive reach into physicians’ offices all across the country has created a panel of thousands of patients (see Q&A here). We can ask them anything we want. Patient Views is how you’re going to keep up with it all.


What do you want to know? If you could ask thousands of patients anything at all to help you see around the corners into the future of health care, what would you ask them? Email me at reder@lf.com and let me know.


Rob Eder is the editor in chief of The Drug Store News Group, publishers of Drug Store News, DSN Collaborative Care, and Specialty Pharmacy magazines. You can contact him at reder@lf.com.

MORE ARTICLES FROM ROB EDER >

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Q&A: Point-of-care perspective

BY DSN STAFF

AccentHealth’s Andrew Schulman, VP marketing, recently sat down with DSN to talk about a new regular DSN feature debuting in this issue called “Patient Views,” and how this series of surveys can help inform pharmacy operators and healthcare suppliers alike.


DSN: What is AccentHealth, and why should retail pharmacy, pharmaceutical manufacturers and consumer packaged goods companies pay attention?


Andrew Schulman: AccentHealth has been in the point-of-care space [with a health education TV network] for the last 17 years. We are the leader of patient education in that space. We have a programming partnership with CNN, so what you’re seeing is targeted and exclusive health-and-wellness programming in the doctor’s office. That provides us a very unique opportunity to engage patients … at the point of care. … Because we have a viewer panel of over 3,000 respondents, we’re able to engage them to get some insights, see what’s working [and] what isn’t working for the retail pharmacy. For CPG, that’s another access point for us where we can engage the chief medical officer of the home, who of course is Mom.


DSN: What is “Patient Views,” and how will it work?


Schulman: We felt that if we could provide that deeper research at the point of care with this consumer group — we have 173 million Nielsen-verified viewers every year — that’s a pretty good swatch of America when it comes to how do we look into their lifestyle, whether it’s consumer behaviors, whether it’s trends. What we’re hoping to gain from this partnership is to offer a solution or service to the pharmacy executive. … What’s the pulse of this consumer, right now? And be able to get that response in a very quick [turnaround]. We provide that kind of [behind-the-scenes] access to what I’ll call ‘pharmacy trend-spotting.’ Is it working? We’ve seen a lot of different types of strategies when it comes to engaging the pharmacy customer. … The last piece of it, because of the timeliness of it, checks the pulse of the nation and the national conversation around health and wellness as a whole. There’s a lot of change and a lot of decisions that are happening at very high levels of government that may affect some very personal decisions.


DSN: How will this be made actionable? 


Schulman: We’re going to do two to three different surveys from now until the end of the year. With DSN’s editorial staff crafting those questions, I think you’re going to see a lot of different types of insights. That actionable item is really around what’s working and what isn’t. Surprises. Trends. What’s going on with consumer behavior. Here’s one [line of questioning]: Is there greater value to having the pharmacist out in the aisles versus not, and do consumers think that’s important? We add an extra layer of reinforcement and qualification of retail pharmacy strategies, or a way to engage that customer in a new and different way.

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