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Starbucks to launch mobile ordering

BY Marianne Wilson

SEATTLE — Starbucks Coffee Company continues to extend its mobile offerings. The coffee giant will launch mobile ordering in its locations in the Portland, Ore., area by year end, with a full rollout nationwide in 2015.

The mobile-order app will enable customers to place orders in advance of their visit and pick them up at their selected Starbucks location.

“Mobile ordering will deliver convenience, frequency and speed of service and over time, become the fastest and easiest way for customers to order, pay and pick up their purchases,” the company said in a statement.

 Starbucks made the announcement at its Leadership Experience conference in Seattle. In remarks, CEO and president Howard Schultz cited a "seismic shift in consumer behavior in which many traditional brick-and-mortar retailers experienced a decline in foot traffic compared with significant growth in online shopping" last holiday season.

"Since that time, we have been focused on radically redefining the Starbucks retail experience for our partners, customers and stores," Schultz  stated. “As a result of the work we’ve done, Starbucks is poised for a great holiday–our innovation pipeline is strong and we have a number of initiatives ready to launch during the holiday and into calendar 2015 and beyond.”

Starbucks will offer 100 different designs of gift cards during the season. The chain is also launching a holiday promotion whereby a select number of customers can win “Starbucks for Life” by simply swiping their Starbucks Card or paying with their mobile device.

“This is the first time we have ever offered customers something of this magnitude and what better way than to anchor it with our renowned Starbucks Card program,” said Sharon Rothstein, Starbucks executive VP and global chief marketing officer.

On Dec. 5, Starbucks will open the first-of-its-kind interactive Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room dedicated to roasting, coffee education and increased availability of their fast-growing small-lot Starbucks Reserve coffees. The consolidation of small-batch roasting will allow the company to expand their Starbucks Reserve coffee line to 1,500 locations globally as well as open over 100 stores designed to highlight these rare coffees exclusively.

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Pillar Rock USA launches JetRyte, a nutritional supplement formulated to combat jet lag

BY Michael Johnsen

GREAT NECK, N.Y. — Pillar Rock USA recently introduced JetRyte, a nutritional supplement formulated to combat jet lag. 
 
Suffering from jet lag is a common temporary disorder, resulting from air travel of two or more hours. Now travelers can fight the effects of jet lag with an effervescent tablet. The JetRyte tablets, designed to fit into any water bottle, will dissolve in two minutes or less. Ingredients include sodium, potassium, vitamins B-6, B-12 and C, magnesium, melatonin and other nutrients combined with a citrus flavor. 
 
Each JetRyte package contains three tablets and a pair of earplugs, and retails between $4.99 and $5.99. 
 
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HDMA report explores biosimilar marketplace potential in the U.S.

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. — A new study published Thursday by the Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research (HDMA’s nonprofit research foundation) — Biosimilars: Lessons from Europe and Strategies for the U.S. — identifies factors, based on an analysis of European models, that may affect the American launch of biosimilars and their marketplace potential in the United States.
 
“In a little more than five years, about $55 billion of the U.S.’s original biologics will lose exclusivity,” said Karen Ribler, EVP and COO of the Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research. “As the U.S. market awaits FDA guidance on biosimilars, it is useful to look at Europe for a road map of how these products can be adopted in the U.S.”
 
By reviewing the European experience, the publication found that the commercialization and adoption of biosimilars varied throughout five countries — including France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Romania — but the amount of regulation in place and stakeholder alignment both tended to shape the overall uptake of these products. Among the factors found to drive European biosimilar adoption: 
 
  • A minimum threshold of physician acceptance, which is linked to their understanding of the category, is necessary for prescribing biosimilar medications. This behavior varies by country, disease state and type of treatment;
  • Substitutability does accelerate adoption in markets where it exists, but market players are able to achieve high adoption of biosimilar use even where substitutability is not an option;
  • Payers influence uptake in adoption through aggressive use of various tactics like utilization quotas;
  • Commercial support, including sales force and patient services, is often necessary to obtain biosimilar uptake;
  • More entrants, while increasing competitive intensity and price pressures, also typically result in higher publicity, which boosts market penetration; and
  • Biobetters may limit biosimilar uptake when they offer better convenience, lower cost or an enhanced drug profile in terms of safety or efficacy.
The report then applies the lessons learned from Europe to the U.S. healthcare environment, taking into account stakeholder influence, payer structure and marketplace dynamics. With many determinants for biosimilars being unknown, the report offers a discussion based on the present, as well as scenarios for possible commercialization. Areas discussed include: interchangeability, substitutability, the use of international data, naming conventions and stakeholder influence.
 
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