J.D. Power and Associates’ pharmacy study addresses cost, customer service
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. J.D. Power and Associates’ release of its annual national pharmacy study on Wednesday underscored customers’ sensitivity to cost issues, despite out-of-pocket pharmacy costs virtually remaining unchanged from last year, the global marketing information services company said.
The study, which examined customer satsifaction rates in chain drug stores, mass merchandisers, supermarkets and mail-order pharmacies, found that cost competitiveness accounted for 24% of overall satisfaction among brick-and-mortar customers (versus 10% in 2009) and for 41% among mail-order customers (versus 19% in 2009).
J.D. Power and Associates did point out, however, that customer service did outweigh saving money among respondents.
Based on national average spending by pharmacy customers, a highly satisfied customer may generate $227 in additional prescription revenue each year, J.D. Power and Associates noted.
"Consumers are spending more on healthcare expenses in general due to various employer-implemented changes in insurance coverage. High-performing pharmacies aren’t necessarily those with the lowest prices. Rather, pharmacies that are focused on service garner the highest levels of satisfaction. Customer service still trumps price, even in an environment where cost has become increasingly important," said Jim Dougherty, director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power and Associates.
The highest-ranked businesses included Good Neighbor Pharmacy (869-out-of-1,000 points) for the chain drug sector, Target pharmacies (848-out-of-1,000 points) for mass, Publix pharmacies (862-out-of-1,000 points) for supermarkets and Kaiser Permanente mail-order pharmacies (854-out-of-1,000 points).
The 2010 U.S. national pharmacy study was based on responses from more than 12,300 customers who filled a new prescription or refilled a prescription during the three months prior to the survey period. The study was fielded between May and June.
Abbott recalls specific Similac powder infant formulas
ABBOTT PARK, Ill. Abbott on Wednesday initiated a proactive, voluntary recall of certain Similac powder infant formulas in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and some countries in the Caribbean following an internal quality review, which detected the remote possibility of the presence of a small common beetle in the product, produced in one production area in a single manufacturing facility.
"Abbott understands that parents expect to feed their children only the highest-quality product,” stated Holger Liepmann, EVP Abbott Nutrition. “We are taking this action so that parents know that the infant formula products they provide unquestionably meet the highest-quality standards for which they are known. We regret any inconvenience this situation poses to parents and consumers."
The Food and Drug Administration has determined that while the formula containing these beetles poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae, could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating the GI tract. If these symptoms persist for more than a few days, a physician should be consulted.
To immediately find out if the product in your possession is included in this recall, parents and caregivers should visit Similac.com/recall, and type in their lot number to determine if their product is affected, or call (800) 986-8850.
No Abbott liquid infant formulas are impacted. Products not involved in the recall include all Abbott Nutrition liquid ready-to-feed and concentrated infant formulas, and all powder and liquid specialty formulas, such as Similac Expert Care Alimentum, Elecare, Similac Expert Care Neosure, Similac Human Milk Fortifier, and metabolic formulas for inherited disorders.
Dietitian joins local ShopRite stores
KEASBEY, N.J. ShopRite stores in Canton and West Hartford, Conn., are looking to help shoppers make healthier food choices by introducing a registered dietitian, according to a local news report.
Registered dietitian Angela Corcoran will be available, effective immediately, to help shoppers. She will conduct free grocery shopping tours, healthy cooking classes, offer recipe and pantry makeovers, and coordinate other health-and-wellness initiatives and nutritional programs in-store, the report stated.
“Having a dietitian in store is just another way that we go above and beyond to provide value and service to our customers,” store president Chuck Joseph was quoted as saying.