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Survey: Medication flavoring impacts pharmacy satisfaction, loyalty

BY Alaric DeArment

COLUMBIA, Md. – Customer satisfaction and pharmacy loyalty among parents increase significantly when the pharmacist can add custom flavoring to a child’s medications, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by researchers at Temple University’s School of Pharmacy and healthcare consumer research company WilsonRx, found that parents were more likely to recommend a pharmacy that actively informed them about custom-flavoring services over one that did not and preferred filling their children’s medications at pharmacies where the services were available and promoted.

The study consisted of two parts: a survey by pharmacy students of 200 mothers waiting for their children’s prescriptions at 10 chain and independent drug stores in Philadelphia and New Jersey; and a review of WilsonRx’s Pharmacy Customer Satisfaction Survey data, an eight-page paper survey of 34,454 pharmacy customers that included questions on a variety of topics.

“The research and analysis was surprising in that we found that while a fairly high percentage of pharmacy customers were aware that their pharmacy offered prescription flavoring, many were not getting the full value or benefits of the service, either because they didn’t understand how it would help their kids take the medicine or they were simply not asked about it,” Jim Wilson, one of the researchers, said. “I was surprised that there were so many positive benefits for the pharmacy, yet many don’t seem to be making the effort to deliver a totally satisfying flavoring experience. Clearly, the research shows that pharmacy retailers and chains can improve customer satisfaction with a very select family audience.”

According to FlavoRx, a company that makes prescription drug flavoring, only 3% of prescriptions that could be custom flavored actually are. According to the WilsonRx research,  nearly 40% of parents would get a medication flavored for their child, regardless of cost. In addition, 97% of parents said if the pharmacist recommended medication flavoring, they would be highly likely to accept.
 

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E.MEINARDUS says:
Aug-29-2012 12:54 pm

Kids need to know the difference between Candy and Medicine. Many emergency Room visits from kids climbing up to Medicine Cabinets to procur some goodies. Many years ago Bronkometer overdoses from COPD'ers using beta agonist as breathj freshener since it was so handy. Reformulated it so it wouldn't taste so good. Better to have kids swallow dose and then follow up with their favorite treat (i.e. pudding, jell-o ect). Never too young to teach them the difference and avoid the temptation to reward themselves with something mysterious that Mommy keeps in a special place that tastes mighty good. It only takes a few minutes for a Pharmacist to get this point across, and many tragedies could be prevented.

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Paging Dr. Drug Store: Retailers expand healthcare access

BY Alaric DeArment

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — The retailization of health care, as it’s called on the cover of the Aug. 27 issue of Drug Store News, could turn out to be one of the most significant developments in the history of retail and health care alike.

(THE NEWS: Walmart takes a shot at expanding healthcare access. For the full story, click here.)

Even in recent memory, health care usually meant setting up an appointment at the doctor’s office, waiting — sometimes for days, depending on the doctor’s availability — and then getting a prescription and taking it to the pharmacy. Now, the retail pharmacy and retail clinic are becoming destinations for health care as well, particularly some primary care services traditionally reserved for physician offices, such as immunizations and physicals, offered by pharmacists themselves, nurses and even in-store physicians.

As a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers noted in response to the Supreme Court’s upholding of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, "The growth of high-deductible health plans underscores consumers’ cost sensitivity and puts increased pressure on insurers for the most cost-effective healthcare options, such as retail clinics, e-visits and mobile health, which provide convenient primary care services."

All of this, together with the greatly increased number of patients that the healthcare-reform law and the Supreme Court decision have created, spells a magic word: accessibility. That’s good news for patients, and it’s especially good news for retailers as they are set to become increasingly important destinations for healthcare services.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

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Bloomberg: Supervalu reportedly seeking bid for entire business

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS — As several suitors eye individual parts of the Supervalu business, Bloomberg reported that Supervalu is seeking buyers to bid for the entire business.

The news sparked a rise in Supervalu shares on Friday. As of press time, shares of Supervalu were up more than 9% to $2.32.

A representative for Supervalu had declined to comment, but people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg that the company is looking to find one purchaser for its 11 regional grocery chains that operate under such banners as Jewel-Osco, Shoppers, Albertsons and Acme. Supervalu operates more than 800 in-store pharmacies, primarily under the Osco, Sav-on and local banner names.

However, many speculate that selling Supervalu as a whole will be very difficult, Bloomberg reported.

Bloomberg reported that Cerberus Capital Management is eyeing a possible deal involving the Albertsons division. Meanwhile, Ahold NV is reportedly interested in the Shoppers unit.

As reported by Drug Store News in July, Supervalu has hired Goldman Sachs and Greenhill & Co. to find a buyer.

Click here to read the entire Bloomberg article.

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