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DRUG STORE NEWS April 2022

APRIL 2022

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Volume 44, Number 4

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APRIL 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

I N S I D E

NACDS Annual Product Preview Page 78

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Vol. 44 No. 4

Facebook.com/DrugStoreNews Twitter.com/DrugStoreNews

FEATURES 56

BUSINESS IDEAS

E-commerce Rivals Retailers adapt to threats from online sellers

66

INSIDE BEAUTY

Beauty’s Changing Needs Hair care brands step up to address aging hair and scalp concerns 70

INSIDE BEAUTY: WOMEN-LED BRANDS ROUNDTABLE

Standing Out

Beauty leaders discuss how to survive — and stand out — in the beauty business

GET THEM TO CRAVE CANDY With curbside pickup growing, retailers are looking at ways to ignite sales of impulse-driven merchandise

DEPARTMENTS 8

EDITOR’S NOTE

10

INDUSTRY NEWS

26

PRODUCTS TO WATCH

36

WOMEN IN THE NEWS

38

CBD NEWS

44

74

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COLUMNS 28

GUEST COLUMN By OmniSYS’ David Pope

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GUEST COLUMN By AmerisourceBergen’s Elizabeth McMahon

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ONE-ON-ONE with Pharmavite’s Rhonda Hoffman

34

98

ONE-ON-ONE with Global Protection’s Jeff Garlow LAST WORD By David Orgel Consulting’s David Orgel

78

NACDS ANNUAL MEETING

Product Showcase New product and service innovations for attendees to see at NACDS Annual 86

REX AWARDS 2022: TECHNOLOGY AND AUTOMATION

Increasing Efficiencies Who are the luminaries of the technology and automation industry?

DSN (ISSN 0191-7587) is published monthly 12 times a year by EnsembleIQ, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631. Subscription rate in the United States: $125 one year; $230 two year; $14 single issue copy; Canada and Mexico: $150 one year; $270 two year; $16 single issue copy; Foreign: $170 one year; $325 two year; $16 single issue copy. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, IL, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to DSN, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631. Vol. 44 No. 4, April 2022. Copyright © 2022 by EnsembleIQ. All rights reserved.

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EDITOR’S NOTE

Rising to the Occasion As competitors muddy the field, retail pharmacy must remain focused on its differentiator By Nigel F. Maynard

UNDER PRESSURE FROM VARIOUS ENTITIES AND BUSINESS MODELS, THE INDUSTRY HAS HAD TO EVOLVE.

Every business sector at one point or another will face challenges. Some thrive, while others collapse. If you were a blacksmith in the late 19th century, life was good. History tells us that at the turn of the 19th century, there were 21 million horses in the United States and only about 4,000 automobiles. Retail pharmacy is also seeing some competition. Under pressure from various entities and business models, the industry has had to evolve. Observers say this is important if retailers want to keep meeting the rising expectations of their customers. This month, Drug Store News is focusing on who are some of retail pharmacy’s competitors and how brands are adopting strategies to beat those upstarts. One of the main sources of competition is online, from large outlets and new start-ups selling prescription drugs, but also from established brands who have a strong e-commerce component. Most pharmacies, of course, offer e-commerce platforms that have been invaluable during the pandemic. But more people buying online means fewer bodies in brick-and-mortar stores and less opportunity for shoppers to add extra goodies to their baskets. Fortunately, retail pharmacy has an advantage: healthcare services. Drug stores can be confident and proud that they have the ability to offer a high level of patient care in the way of in-person disease management, flu shots, mental health care, pain management and prescription drugs. “Before and throughout the COVID pandemic, NACDS chain and associate members have remained focused on meeting the overall health-and-wellness needs of patients and consumers, as well as serving as a go-to source for an array of consumer products,” Steve Anderson, president and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, told our reporter. “Over the past two years, the NACDS membership rose to the unique challenges presented by the COVID crisis — innovating boldly to meet changing consumer demands and mindsets, including changes in the way that consumers shop.” That’s all well and good, but retailers will be wise to not get complacent. They must continue to innovate and expand their healthcare services, and show that they are here to stay — no matter what competitors are doing. dsn

An EnsembleIQ Publication 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave Suite 200 Chicago, IL 60631 Senior Vice President, Publisher John Kenlon (516) 650-2064, jkenlon@ensembleiq.com Editor-in-Chief | Editorial Director Nigel F. Maynard nigelmaynard@ensembleiq.com

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AUDIENCE LIST RENTAL MeritDirect Marie Briganti 914-309-3378 SUBSCRIBER SERVICES/ CUSTOMER CARE TOLL-FREE: 1-877-687-7321 FAX: 1-888-520-3608 contact@drugstorenews.com REPRINTS & PERMISSIONS Reprints, permissions and licensing, please contact Wright’s Media at ensembleiq@wrightsmedia.com or (877) 652-5295. EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD John Beckner, NCPA Becky Dant, Costco J. Jeremy Faulks, Thrifty White Pharmacy Doug M. Long, IQVIA Nancy Lyons, Health Mart Pharmacy K. Wayne Orvis, Walgreens Katie Scanlon, Publix Super Markets Heidi Snyder, Drug World Pharmacies

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Michigan Gov. Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Bills Lowering Prescription Drug Costs A Lansing Meijer Pharmacy was the setting for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to sign House Bills 4348, 4351 and 4352. The legislation aims to lower the costs of prescription drugs for Michiganders, ensuring that pharmacists can provide honest advice to patients about treatment options and hold pharmacy benefit managers accountable. “I am proud to sign this bipartisan legislation that helps us lower the cost of prescription drugs,” Gov. Whitmer said. “For too long, unlicensed pharmacy benefit managers have been able to engage in practices that drive up costs for Michiganders whose lives and health depend on critical prescription drugs like insulin. This bill brings muchneeded transparency to our healthcare system and is a testament to what we can do when we put Michiganders first. I am grateful for the work of my Prescription Drug Task Force for their recommendations and our legislative partners who joined with us to get this done.”

Rick Keyes, Meijer president and CEO, and National Association of Chain Drug Stores immediate past chair and current board of directors member, attended the signing of the legislation. “Meijer cares about the communities we serve and are proud to support this legislation, which will help lower the costs of quality medications for our 2.2 million Michigan pharmacy customers,” Keyes said. “Our 2,200 Michigan pharmacy team members work hard to serve these customers, from dispensing 18 million prescriptions to administering 1.8 million COVID-19 vaccines throughout Michigan. This bill makes pricing practices fairer, increases transparency and helps our customers afford the medications they need to live healthy lives.” House Bills 4348, 4351 and 4352 are based on recommendations by Gov. Whitmer’s Prescription Drug Task Force. The task force worked with health policy experts, bipartisan members of the legislature and stakeholders to discuss solutions to lower the costs of prescription medications for Michigan families. In the governor’s 2022 State of the State address, she laid out a key proposal to work with the legislature and Attorney General Dana Nessel to hold drug companies accountable, lower the cost of insulin for Michigan families and save lives. Nessel has an ongoing investigation into the practices of one of the three largest drug manufacturers in the United States and is seeking to use the Michigan Consumer Protection Act to investigate the role of drug companies in raising prices. A bipartisan bill in the legislature would cap insulin prices at $50 a month. House Bill 4348 will lower the costs of prescription drugs for Michigan families and help residents afford medication, including insulin.

Aurobindo Pharma has acquired a 239,000-sq.-ft.

manufacturing facility in Caguas, Puerto Rico. The Aurobindo facility is designated for manufacturing oral solid dose products, both tablets and capsules, with both Expands regular and high potency capabilities. Facility highlights also include: with New • 15.3 acres of land; Manufacturing • Five packaging lines; • A laboratory for raw materials, finished product, microbiology and stability; and • A warehouse for receiving, sampling, dispensing, storage and shipping. Facility in Aurobindo said this acquisition is enabling its organization to pivot and manufacture more products in the United States. Puerto Rico

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INDUSTRY NEWS

NACDS Poll Shows Support for Extending Policies Offering Access to Essential Services from Pharmacies The National Association of Chain Drug Stores released poll results that show significant support for extending the policies that have allowed Americans to access essential services from their pharmacies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization has urged the Biden administration to provide clarity or take definitive action to ensure Americans maintain access to pharmacy services that will remain essential when the current public health emergency ends. These services — made possible under an array of amendments to the current declaration of the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act — relate to COVID-19 tests, vaccinations and therapeutics, childhood vaccinations, and flu vaccinations. Conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by NACDS, the poll surveyed American adults from March 4 to 6 regarding the set of national policies that were put in place to allow pharmacists and pharmacy teams to provide pandemic-related services. Findings included: • Seventy percent support extending these policies; and • Sixty-eight percent support making these policies permanent. Those who received a COVID-19 vaccination from a pharmacy are even more supportive. Among those who received their COVID-19 booster at a pharmacy reported the following: • Eighty-five percent support extending these policies; and • Eighty-four percent support making these policies permanent. NACDS said these results bolster the urgent need for attention and response to its Feb. 25 letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and White House COVID-19 Response Team coordinator Jeffrey Zients. In that letter, NACDS urged clarity that PREP Act pharmacy authorities will not be impacted by a lifting of the PHE, or an extension of the PREP Act declaration based on the sustained credible risk of a PHE. “The loss of pharmacy-related PREP Act declaration allowances would impede the equitable access to care that Americans have received from pharmacy during the pandemic,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said. “While optimism is mounting, and may be warranted, for a potential end of the currently declared public health emergency, it is important that the access to care Americans have come to rely on and expect at pharmacies is maintained.” “Pharmacies have demonstrated their importance as an access point, and remain vital to continue meeting Americans’ needs and protecting health and wellness, especially as the nation navigates the potential transition from pandemic to endemic,” Anderson said. “Importantly, long-term solutions are needed as lessons learned from this pandemic demand the nation establish flexible, scalable and sustainable access to vaccinations, testing and other pandemic-related care for Americans at pharmacies now and permanently for future public health crises.”

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Rite Aid Restructures Leadership Division The retailer recently announced that it is realigning its management team and streamlining the company’s operations, including the elimination of the Rite Aid chief operating officer position and consolidation of its pharmacy leadership. As a result, Jim Peters, chief operating officer, and Jocelyn Konrad, executive vice president and chief pharmacy officer, have left the company. Karen Staniforth, senior vice president of clinical pharmacy services, will take on the title of chief pharmacy officer, which going forward will be focused specifically on centralized pharmacy operations in addition to her current responsibilities, the company said. Andre Persaud, executive vice president and chief retail officer, will take over field operations for pharmacy as well as oversight of front-end operations. Staniforth, Persaud and Erik Keptner, senior vice president and chief marketing and merchandising officer, will report directly to Heyward Donigan, Rite Aid’s president and CEO. In addition, Justin Mennen, executive vice president and CIO, will expand his responsibilities to include leadership of all digital and e-commerce under his new title as chief digital and technology officer.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Walmart to Offer Mental Health Platform for Caregivers, Vitamin Subscription Plan The first initiative is a partnership with human transformation company BetterUp to launch a curated subscription and community offering geared to support the well-being of the caregiver population. BetterUp for Caregivers, a subscription offering available exclusively through The Wellness Hub on walmart. com, is designed by doctors and behavioral scientists to deliver measurable improvement in resilience and life satisfaction. Members will experience live group programming, community support and a wide array of on-demand solutions, including drop-in workshops, Coaching Circles, tailored self-guided programs and personalized assessments — all created to improve resilience, energy and social connection. An estimated 1-in-5 Americans — 53 million people — provide unpaid assistance and support to parents, adults and children with health needs. Evidence shows that the majority of these caregivers have little to no support, and at least one-third of all caregivers provide care to others while suffering from poor health themselves, the company said. “Over the past few years at Walmart, we have been working tirelessly to bring trusted wellness and personal care products to our customers so that they can live better and feel their best,” said Julie Barber, senior vice president of health and wellness merchandising at Walmart U.S. “Many of these customers serve their own family members as caregivers, giving of themselves daily with very little time devoted to their own wellness. This is why we are so excited to bring BetterUp for Caregivers to Walmart.com — offering accessible, on-demand solutions for customers who care for those around them.” BetterUp for Caregivers is a monthly subscription that includes live classes, interactive exercises, quizzes, games, well-being tracking, community support and confidential, 24/7 access to resources and more tools, costing an average of about $30 per week. Walmart also announced that it is offering Easy Vitamin Plan’s personalized vitamin subscription plan to its customers. Easy Vitamin Plan makes customized nutrition accessible and more affordable for Walmart customers by offering subscribers a 28-day supply of vitamins that meet their specific needs at an everyday low price, the company said.

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Meijer Donates $1M to U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Meijer recently announced a $1 million donation it made to local affiliates of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The donation, which will be divided evenly between 17 chambers across the Midwest, is part of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer’s efforts and commitment to supporting diverse businesses and communities. “Our diversity and inclusion journey focuses not just on our own team members, customers and business partners, but on our communities at large,” Meijer president and CEO Rick Keyes said. “We look forward to seeing how the Hispanic chambers use our gift to create intergenerational wealth and opportunity for people in our communities.” Through this donation, Meijer aims to support the chambers’ missions of promoting economic growth, development and interest of Hispanic-owned businesses, the company said. “By investing in these Hispanic chambers, we hope to empower Hispanic business owners and create an economic impact that’s felt throughout our communities,” said Tim Williams, vice president of diversity and inclusion at Meijer.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Club Crisps Adds Sweet, Salty Variety Club Crackers is kicking off its 90th anniversary with a sweet and savory flavor combination. The Battle Creek, Mich.-based brand, part of the Kellogg’s family, announced the latest addition to its Club Crisps line — sweet and salty. Available for a limited time this spring, Club Crisps Sweet & Salty is the brand’s first sweet and savory flavor in its expansive Club crackers portfolio, the company said. Baked to a light and thin consistency, the crackers feature a blend of balanced sweet caramelized-flavored sugar with a savory pop of salt combined with its signature buttery base, according to Kellogg. “With trending sweet and savory snacks on the rise, we saw the perfect opportunity to bring a unique twist and seasonal offering to the Club Crisps line,” said Zach Wyer, director of brand marketing at Kellogg’s Crackers. “Our innovation team worked to combine the perfect mix of sweet brown sugar and savory salt crystals to excite and delight taste buds, and we’re thrilled to share it in this new thin and crispy bitesize format.” Made without the use of artificial colors or flavors, the crackers join the brand’s previously launched sea salt and ranch variety.

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Target to Curate Sustainable Product Collections with Target Zero Target is working toward its sustainability efforts with a new initiative that aims to help shoppers reduce waste. The retailer has introduced a Target Zero icon in its stores and online, which signals that the product and packaging are designed to be refillable, reusable, compostable and made from recycled content or from materials that reduce the use of plastic. Products across Target’s beauty, personal care and household essentials categories will be among the first in the Target Zero collection, with plans to expand the assortment in the future. By launching Target Zero, the retailer is working toward a key commitment made through its sustainability effort — Target Forward — which looks to co-create an equitable and regenerative future with guests, partners and communities, and includes plans to design and elevate sustainable brands and innovate to eliminate waste, the company said. “Target Zero unlocks important progress toward our Target Forward ambitions, each of which require collaboration from our partners and action from our guests to be realized,” said Amanda Nusz, senior vice president of corporate responsibility and president of the Target Foundation. “By making it easier for our guests to identify which products are designed to reduce waste, Target Zero helps them make informed decisions about what they purchase and advances a collective impact across our brand partners, our product shelves, and within our homes and communities.” The Target Zero icon will be displayed to guests on shelves and through a dedicated online experience that will include such brands as Burt’s Bees, Plus, Pacifica and select Grove Co. items, as well as Everspring, which will join the platform in April. Through Target Zero, the retailer plans to continue its sustainability efforts to create and curate inclusive and sustainable brands and experiences by 2030, and its goal to have 100% of its own brand plastic packaging be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025, the company said.

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Walgreens, Labcorp Providing At-home COVID-19 Test Collection Kits

Turkey Hill Dipped Duos Combine Classic Ice Cream Flavors Turkey Hill continues to innovate in the ice cream aisle in a major way. The Conestoga, Pa.-based company unveiled its newest innovation — Dipped Duos. Featuring two ice cream flavors swirled together and covered in a rich milk chocolate coating, the bar is available in four different varieties: vanilla bean and chocolate, caramel and chocolate, strawberry and vanilla bean, and peanut butter and chocolate. “Last year, we unveiled 16 new products to our novelties line, and we are excited to continue to grow our novelty portfolio even further with the launch of Dipped Duos,” said Kriston Ohm, vice president of marketing. “Featuring Turkey Hill’s signature creamy premium ice cream and a smooth, rich milk chocolate coating, Dipped Duos are the perfect way to treat yourself.” Available in the frozen foods section of select grocers, Turkey Hill Dipped Duos retail for $3.79.

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Walgreens and Labcorp are teaming up to provide consumers with access to the Labcorp COVID-19 at-home collection kit. Available through Labcorp OnDemand, the PCR test can be accessed at no cost to individuals who meet clinical guidelines. The retailer’s addition of the kits, which are provided in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services, will enable more communities to access reliable, convenient testing services when, where and how they need them, the companies said. “Walgreens is focused on reducing barriers to health care, including cost and transportation,” said John Standley, president of Walgreens. “Through our continued partnership with Labcorp and HHS, communities will have better access to convenient COVID-19 PCR testing. This is particularly important for uninsured, socially vulnerable and medically underserved populations, who continue to be among those most impacted by COVID.” Consumers are able to request a Pixel by Labcorp COVID-19 at-home kit online for individuals who are 2 years old and older. In addition, individuals scheduling a testing appointment using the Walgreens online scheduler will see a pop-up with the option to request a COVID-19 at-home collection kit. Individuals will then be directed to Labcorp OnDemand, a healthcare platform that helps people manage their health and make more informed decisions. Once on the platform, customers will be prompted to answer eligibility questions and request a kit. Completed tests can be dropped off at more than 6,000 Walgreens locations or a FedEx drop-off location using the pre-paid FedEx Priority Overnight bag provided. “Expanding our offerings with Walgreens to provide Pixel by Labcorp COVID19 at-home collection kits to Walgreens customers makes testing within reach for more individuals across the country, including those communities that might otherwise have a harder time accessing health care,” said Brian Caveney, chief medical officer, president of Labcorp Diagnostics. “As we begin seeing regions across the country loosen COVID-19 restrictions, testing will continue to play an important role as people increase pre-pandemic routine activities.”

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Cheers to 40 Years! From modest beginnings to our beautiful headquarters in Edison, New Jersey, it is remarkable to comprehend how far we have come. My husband, Jack, sadly passed in 2004, but I know he would join me in being incredibly thankful to the customers that believed in our promise “back then.” Their loyalty continues to be an integral part of why we remain strong. To all those who have come along for the journey and are a part of our story and to those who will help write the next chapter —I say “thank you !” 1990

1982

2022

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Ascend Labs, PursueCareRX Establish Patient Preference Referral Program

TruBiotics’ Newest Probiotics Support Children’s Digestive, Immune Health Supporting the digestive and immune health of both children and infants is what has inspired TruBiotics’ latest innovations. New from the Phoenix-based company are its Baby Drops and Kids Chewable supplements, which mark the brand’s first foray into the infant market. The Baby Drops are formulated to help soothe upset stomachs, reduce crying and fussiness, improve sleep duration, support regularity, reduce the instances of loose stools, and increase beneficial bifidobacteria to establish a healthy microbiome and support digestive development, the company said. The drops contain 3 billion CFUs of Bifidobacterium animalis BB-12 in each dose, which are free of sugar, milk, soy and gluten. “I see many parents of infants trying to find any way they can to help soothe and comfort their fussy baby,” said Lauren Crosby, a Beverly Hills pediatrician and medical advisory board member at PanTheryx, distributor of TruBiotics. “It can be a stressful time for families with little ones, so I’m excited to see TruBiotics’ new baby drops feature the clinically researched probiotic strain BB-12 to address several challenges, including increased crying and fussiness, which often result in a decreased quality of sleep for the infant. Getting restorative sleep is important not only for the developing infant brain but for everyone in the household.” The Kids Chewable Probiotic Supplement features Bifidobacterium and lactobacillus, two clinically researched probiotic types that support digestive and immune health in children, the company said. Each chewable sugar-free supplement contains a minimum of 6 billion CFUs of BB-12 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG combined. The supplements are designed for children aged 2 years old and older, according to the brand.

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Ascend Labs, a subsidiary of Alkem Labs, is partnering with PursueCareRX, a national mail order and retail pharmacy, to refer patients for dispensing of Ascend brand medications. Ascend/Alkem has more than 80 FDA-approved molecules for the U.S. market. The medications, which are sometimes specifically requested by patients to treat certain conditions, at times can not be found by patients at their local pharmacy. This results in the pharmacy switching patients to another brand, the company said. “Patients frequently contact Ascend to tell us that their experience with a new brand left them with undesired side effects or seemed less effective,” said John Dillaway, Ascend’s executive vice president. “Ascend is pleased to work with PursueCareRX to have a go-to pharmacy where patients are assured of getting the Ascend brand when they make such a request, on any and all Ascend brand medicines.” PursueCareRx is the pharmacy division of PursueCare, a nationally recognized leader in treating substance use disorders, mental health and primary care needs through telemedicine. Ascend said that it formed the partnership with PursueCareRx because of the company’s focus on fostering high-quality health care and regulatory compliance, as well as its ability to provide excellent customer service to patients making the request for its medications. Due to the fact that PursueCareRx frequently works with populations requiring personalized pharmacy consultation and support, it offers all patients medication therapy management consults to help them better understand their healthcare options and the medications that are prescribed to them. “PursueCareRX prides itself on being able to serve many populations requiring thoughtful patient care and solutions for common problems that may lack solutions at their local pharmacy,” said CEO Nick Mercadant. “We are proud to participate in this program with Ascend, which will certainly benefit those patients wanting streamlined access to Ascend medications.”

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3/30/22 1:04 PM


INDUSTRY NEWS

Giant Food Offering Free Pickup Service

GoodBelly Rolls Out Probiotic Beverages for Children, Immune Support Line GoodBelly is growing its probiotic product offerings. The Boulder, Colo.based company announced plans to launch two new product lines — GoodBelly Kids! and GoodBelly Immune Support. GoodBelly Kids! is a multi-serve probiotic beverage specially formulated for children. The immune support line features probiotics that have been proven to support the body’s immune system and reduce the frequency, duration and symptoms of the common cold, the company said. Immune support products will come in two formats, multi-serve juice quarts and shots that consumers can take with them on the go. Available in 32-oz. quarts, GoodBelly Kids! beverages are made with the Lactobacillus plantarum probiotic strain that has been shown to help balance the gut and promote healthy digestion. Made with no added sugar or soy, GoodBelly Kids! beverages come in Fruit Punch Party, Apple Juice Adventure and Berry Blast Off flavors. The beverages are USDA Organic, non-GMO, dairy free and fortified with choline to support brain health and healthy muscle movement, the company said. Formulated with strains of Lactobacillus plantarum Heal9 and Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2, the Immune Support Quarts come in 32-oz. cartons of Pineapple Passionfruit and Citrus Guava flavors. They do not contain added sugar and are USDA Organic, non-GMO, dairy free, vegan and soy free. The Immune Support Shots, which contain the same probiotic combination as the quarts, come in 2.7-oz. single-serve cups of Pineapple Passionfruit and Lemon Ginger Turmeric flavors. They also do not contain added sugar and are USDA Organic, non-GMO, dairy free, vegan and soy free. GoodBelly Immune Support will be available nationwide in April and GoodBelly Kids! will be available in August.

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Giant Food is making shopping a lot more convenient for its customers. The Landover, Md.-based retailer recently announced that its Giant Pickup service, which is now free, can be used with orders ready within four hours of purchase at all of its 159 locations. “E-commerce demand continues to escalate as more customers discover the timesaving benefits of online shopping at Giant,” said Gregg Dorazio, director of e-commerce at Giant Food. The move builds on the brand’s continued investments in its omnichannel strategies, which include ensuring value across its in-store and online offerings, such as pickup and delivery. In 2021, the retailer eliminated minimum order requirements for all Giant Pickup orders, halved minimum order requirements for Giant Delivers and delivery fees for orders placed Friday to Monday, and removed delivery fees for midweek orders, the company said. In addition, Giant Food also offers customers using SNAP benefits the option to pay with an EBT card when placing orders for Giant Pickup and Giant Delivers. The retailer also previously launched the Ship2Me marketplace online, which currently features more than 60,000 items across such categories as home décor, seasonal items, outdoor and pet, among others.

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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3/28/22 1:41 PM


Clif Grows Product Line with Thins Snack Bars Clif continues innovating in the snack bar category with its latest launch, Clif Thins. The line of crispy snack bars offer a new take on the original Clif Bars, which are intended for everyday snacking, the Emeryville, Calif.-based company said. Available in three flavors — Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Peanut Brownie and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut — the bars are made with plant-based ingredients. “Our research shows that the return of office commutes and travel is on the rise. In fact, 75% of Americans plan to travel in 2022, and half of those admit they snack more when on the move. Meanwhile, 43% of employed Americans are working in hybrid environments and need snacks that can adapt to their changing work settings,” said Liz Watson, Clif brand manager. “Clif Thins are lightweight and easily stored in purses, carry-ons and desks, so you always have a quick

and easy pick-me-up in your hectic schedule.” With just 100 calories and 5 g of sugar per serving, Clif Thins contain such ingredients as organic rolled oats, the company said.

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DRUGSTORENEWS.COM April 2022

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3/28/22 1:42 PM


INDUSTRY NEWS

Albertsons, Cue Health Partner on COVID-19 Testing at Pharmacies Nationwide Albertsons and Cue Health, a healthcare technology company, announced that they are joining in a first-of-its-kind partnership. The two companies are working together to offer customers access to Cue’s highly accurate, convenient and fast molecular COVID-19 tests at participating Albertsons pharmacies across the country. Pharmacy personnel will provide this new service, which will allow customers to get Cue’s lab-quality COVID-19 test results delivered to their email in 20 minutes. “To offer customers convenient, quick and accurate solutions we have partnered with Cue Health to feature these tests in our community pharmacies,” said Omer Gajial, Albertsons executive vice president of pharmacy and health. “Adding this diagnostic test expands options for our customers to access proactive health-and-wellness solutions at our stores.” Albertsons and Cue piloted this in-pharmacy COVID-19 testing program last fall in 40 pharmacies in the state of Washington and at Lumen Field for fans attending Seattle Seahawks home games. The companies have since rolled out the offering into approximately 900 pharmacies and said they expect the test to be available at most Albertsons pharmacies over the coming weeks. “This collaboration encapsulates what we believe is a critical component to the future of diagnostics: immediate access to convenient, fast and highly accurate testing solutions on the go,” said Ayub Khattak, co-founder and CEO of Cue Health. “Whether individuals require testing for travel, work or peace of mind, in-pharmacy testing at Albertsons stores removes barriers and provides real-time data that enables customers to make more informed decisions. We are excited to work with Albertsons to offer more customers access to our innovative testing technology as we work to usher in the digital transformation of personalized health care.”

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Beyond Meat, PepsiCo Debut Beyond Meat Jerky The plant-based food space is continuing to expand with a brandnew entry from Beyond Meat and PepsiCo. Beyond Meat Jerky, the latest innovation from the brands, is part of its joint venture — Planet Partnership. Founded in 2021, Planet Partnership combines Beyond Meat’s technology in plant-based protein development with PepsiCo’s commercial capabilities to launch new products, including snacks and beverages, that fall into the plant-based category. Marinated and slow roasted to offer the savory experience of traditional beef jerky, Beyond Meat Jerky is available in three flavors — original, hot and spicy, and teriyaki. The jerky contains 10 g of protein per serving and is free of cholesterol, the companies said. Made with such plant-based ingredients as peas and mung beans, and without GMOs, soy or gluten, Beyond Meat Jerky is shelf-stable and comes in three size packs. “We are thrilled to introduce the first product from Planet Partnership, our joint venture with Beyond Meat and PepsiCo,” said Dan Moisan, CEO of Planet Partnership. “The nationwide launch of Beyond Meat Jerky will make plant-based meat accessible to millions of households. It tastes great, it’s a good source of protein and it’s convenient to eat whether you’re on the go, at the office or out on adventures.” Through its shelf-stable format, Beyond Meat Jerky can expand its distribution to such channels as grocery stores, gas stations, club stores and pharmacies, the companies said. dsn

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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3/28/22 1:44 PM


PET SPECIALTY

SUPPLIER PERSPECTIVES

Turning Empathy into Action for Domestic Abuse Survivors with Pets Purina’s Purple Leash® Project By Nina Leigh Krueger, President and CEO of Nestlé Purina PetCare For several years now, Purina’s purpose of enriching the lives of pets and the people who love them has been brought to life through our Purple Leash Project program, which is helping domestic violence shelters across the country become pet friendly. While we have always believed that pets and people are better together, it has never been truer than for victims of domestic abuse and their beloved pets. Not only does domestic abuse impact one-third of women and a quarter of men in this country, but for victims with pets, leaving is made even more difficult by the fact that only 15% of shelters allow pets. We believe that we can help change that. Perhaps like many of you, I hadn’t spent much time internalizing the issue of domestic violence before Purina started doing work in the space. And while I have been sheltered from the realities of abuse in many ways throughout my life, the more I’ve learned, the more I’ve realized that domestic abuse is far too often a story that isn’t told. That is all the more reason why lending our voices and brands to shine a light on this issue through the Purple Leash Project has been so inspiring to me, and I’ve been humbled by the willingness of our retail partners to support this work. Together, we are making a difference. What started nearly a decade ago as a phone call to see how Purina could help a single domestic violence shelter become pet friendly has evolved into a mission to change the narrative and the domestic violence survivor services landscape altogether at a

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national scale. From getting handson at shelters to make pet-friendly improvements through associate volunteer days to lobbying for federal support for survivors with pets in Washington, D.C., Purina is committed to doing more than writing checks to make a difference. We’re putting in work to make real change.

But there is more work to do.

And because of your support, and the support of our brands, we’ve helped 30 domestic violence shelters become pet friendly and donated more than $1 million to the Purple Leash Project fund since creating the Purple Leash Project with our nonprofit partner, RedRover, in 2019.

To our partners who have embraced the Purple Leash Project, thank you. And to those who are considering it, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Purina sales rep to find out how you can support this initiative during key periods throughout the year with merch programs designed to drive attention and awareness of this issue and give your customers a way to get involved by donating and purchasing specially marked Purina products.

More survivors and pets are safe today because of this work. This program is saving lives. The Purple Leash Project is inspiring pet owners to get involved and join us on this mission. In fact, in addition to the funding Purina provides, consumers have donated more than $400,000 to the Purple Leash Project so far.

There are more doors to open for survivors of domestic violence with pets, so they can escape abuse and heal together. It is only through the support and advocacy of many that we will continue to lead this charge and protect the bond between survivors and their beloved pets.

Purina trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A. Any other marks are property of their respective owners.

3/30/22 1:05 PM


P R O D U CTS TO WATCH

New & Noteworthy HRG’s Products to Watch from March 2022

March was a very active month for suppliers, as brands debuted a high volume of new products. For the month, companies introduced 220 new products in the health, wellness and beauty categories. Hamacher Resource Group’s new product team evaluated 19 products in the health category, 154 products in the wellness sector and 47 in the beauty aisle to determine the five that could prove important to retailers and attractive to consumers. Here are the products they found:

3. Cetaphil Sun Sheer Mineral Sunscreen

1. Unisom Simple Slumbers Return-to-Sleep Strip

Dermatologic and gynecologic tested, Always Cleanse Sensitive Wash from Procter & Gamble is fragrance, silicone, paraben and dye free. The pH-balanced wash is designed for intimate skin and contains vitamin E and amino acids. It comes in a 8-oz. bottle.

The Unisom Simple Slumbers Return-to-Sleep Strip by Sanofi delivers 3 mg of melatonin in a new, quick-dissolved strip. It helps users get back to sleep faster without needing water, the brand said. The product comes in a 21-count bottle in a mint flavor.

Galderma Laboratories developed Cetaphil Sun Sheer Mineral Sunscreen to provide sheer mineral sun protection for normal to dry, sensitive skin. Formulated to be water resistant for up to 80 minutes, the product is made with vitamin E, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Moreover, it does not contain parabens or fragrances.

4. Always Cleanse Sensitive Wash

2. Lastacaft Eye Allergy Itch Relief

5. One A Day Postnatal Complete Multivitamin

Allergan’s Lastacaft Eye Allergy Itch Relief is an Rx-to-OTC switch. The manufacturer said the product is formulated to alleviate itchy eye due to allergies and does so within minutes. A single drop in each eye provides relief for up to 16 hours. The 5-ml bottle contains a 60-day supply.

Bayer developed One A Day Postnatal Complete Multivitamin to help support post-natal health. Offering B vitamins and omega-3 DHA, the softgel product is formulated to assist with hair, skin and nail health; metabolism; brain function; and breastfeeding. It comes in a 60-count bottle. dsn

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April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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3/29/22 3:26 PM


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3/30/22 1:06 PM


GUEST COLUMN

Test to Treat

Pharmacists nationwide need to have prescriptive authority for COVID-19 antivirals By David Pope

David Pope, PharmD, CDE, chief innovation officer, OmniSYS

If you have any friends in the medical community, cocktail parties may be a little awkward right now. The pharmacy community and the American Medical Association have been at odds about provider status for pharmacists. When President Biden announced pharmacy test to treat during the State of the Union address in March, this issue was thrust into the national spotlight once again. Last fall, as COVID-19 antivirals were close to being authorized, the Prep Act stated that pharmacists would be eligible to prescribe during the national emergency once FDA approval was granted. However, in a surprise move by the FDA, pharmacists were specifically carved out from prescriptive authority. This was particularly unusual, as the FDA does not generally specify which types of providers can prescribe when approving new medications. When the program was announced, many assumed the longanticipated prescriptive authority for pharmacists on COVID-19 antivirals would quickly follow. But it didn’t take long to realize that there were some very important nuances in the announcement, and test to treat may only apply to existing pharmacy-based clinics run by physicians and nurse practitioners. While medical practices inside pharmacies are on the rise, they’re not at a scale that involves the pharmacy community in any broad sense. Once it became clear that there was some room for debate, the conversation really heated up. At the end of the day, it all comes down to medical decision-making. Not all medical decisionmaking is created equal; in fact, it’s far from it. Complex medical decision-making involves a review of multiple systems, diagnostic tests, lab results and more. Straightforward medical decision-making is applying clearly defined protocols to a patient who has already received a diagnosis. When pharmacists finally receive prescriptive authority for COVID-19 antivirals, they will undoubtedly follow a straightforward, protocol-based decision-making process. As part of those protocols, patients with certain conditions or drug interactions will be referred to a physician. What’s particularly important to note here is that this exact process is already happening successfully in a number of states: statin prescribing in Iowa for diabetic patients, flu and strep

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prescribing in Florida, hormonal contraceptive prescribing in 19 states, and countless other ambulatory care protocols in hospitals across the country. In other words, this isn’t new. Pharmacists know when to prescribe and when they need to refer the patient for more complex medical decision-making. So why is it so important for pharmacists nationwide to have prescriptive authority for COVID-19 antivirals? Time to treatment for COVID-19 antivirals is essential. These medications need to be taken as early as possible after diagnosis to maximize their effectiveness. Allowing pharmacists to prescribe and dispense is the quickest pathway to reaching a scale that reduces the time between diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, ultimately leading to fewer hospitalizations. Health equity is also a critical part of the equation. For many rural and underserved communities, pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare provider for miles. By enabling pharmacists as providers, the lifesaving test-to-treat pathway will be available to millions of more patients.

Allowing pharmacists to prescribe and dispense is the quickest pathway to reaching a scale that reduces the time between diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, ultimately leading to fewer hospitalizations. The path to empowering pharmacists for the test to treat program is straightforward: 1. FDA: Update EUAs to allow pharmacists the authority to prescribe; 2. CMS: Allow pharmacists to be reimbursed for the encounter through the medical benefit; and 3. HRSA: Allow pharmacists to submit office visit codes when there isn’t coverage elsewhere. Allowing pharmacists to leverage their education, skills and training to make the basic medical necessity determination to prescribe COVID-19 antivirals will make the test-to-treat pathway more effective and more accessible for millions of Americans. And who can argue with increasing access to lifesaving medications? This is an important time in the history of our nation and, yes, of pharmacy. Make our voices heard. Let’s do this! dsn

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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3/23/22 10:07 PM


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3/25/22 9:57 AM 3/30/22 1:06 PM


GUEST COLUMN

Sufficiently Similar

What the FDA approval of the first interchangeable biosimilar product means for pharmacists By Elizabeth McMahon

Elizabeth McMahon, senior vice president, emerging therapies and channel strategy, AmerisourceBergen

For the first time ever, a biosimilar is available at the pharmacy counter. Biosimilars are biologic products that, while not exact copies, are highly similar to a reference biologic product. They are approved by the FDA to have no clinically meaningful differences in safety and efficacy compared to their reference products, yet they are often more cost-effective. Since the approval of the United States’ first biosimilar in 2015, biosimilars have been viewed as a promising new class of therapeutics and as a favorable option for curtailing rising drug costs. In fact, projections are citing as much as $100 billion in savings from 2020 through 2024, with effective biosimilar adoption. To date, the biosimilars currently available on the market are physician-administered drugs that are paid for or reimbursed under the patient’s medical benefit Part B plan. Patients have benefited greatly from the expanded access, choice and cost savings that these available biosimilars provide, and we have seen significant growth and adoption of these biosimilars in the markets where they currently compete. But there is a change on the horizon that will exponentially expand the biosimilar market and that has the potential to positively impact millions more patients. With updated FDA regulations, Viatris’ (formerly Mylan) Semglee (insulin glargine-yfgn) received approval as an interchangeable biosimilar referencing Sanofi’s basal insulin, Lantus (insulin glargine). Both insulin glargine products are long-acting and indicated to treat adult/pediatric patients with Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes for adult patients only. And with Semglee (insulin glargine-yfgn) commercially available to retail pharmacies (including mail orders), it is the first biosimilar to break into the pharmacy benefit, or Part D, space. This gives pharmacists in the United States their first opportunity to dispense a biosimilar to their patients. So what does this development mean for pharmacists across the country? The interchangeable designation of Semglee (insulin

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glargine-yfgn) is a unique and important designation. It means that pharmacists will be allowed to switch out Lantus (insulin glargine) for the Semglee (insulin glargineyfgn) biosimilar without the required approval from the prescribing physician. Additionally, we can view Semglee’s (insulin glargine-yfgn) entrance into the pharmacy space as a precursor for future biosimilar products that will fall into this pharmacy benefit space. Semglee (insulin glargine-yfgn) presents pharmacists with the opportunity to understand how best to educate and inform patients about interchangeable biosimilars and what they mean from a clinical and cost perspective. With the successful adoption and utilization of Semglee (insulin glargine-yfgn) at the pharmacy counter, pharmacists will be well positioned to put this experience to use for anticipated biosimilar launches in the coming years, too, including at least seven biosimilars referencing Humira that will be available in 2023.

Semglee (insulin glargine-yfgn) presents pharmacists with the opportunity to understand how best to educate and inform patients about interchangeable biosimilars, and what they mean from a clinical and cost perspective.

All in all, the entrance of biosimilars in the United States’ retail pharmacy space is expected to continue, and pharmacists’ roles in dispensing to and educating patients at the counter will be paramount. The trusted relationship between patients and their pharmacists is invaluable. The introduction of biosimilar products creates a great opportunity for pharmacists to continue engaging their patients about their health conditions to help identify more affordable alternative treatments, all while still ensuring they have continued access to the therapies they need. dsn

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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3/30/22 1:07 PM


ONE-ON-ONE

Blending Balance Nature Made’s new Wellblends line takes an interconnected approach to achieving optimal wellness These days, many Americans struggle to keep the interconnected systems of health in balance while they face numerous stressors. To help regain that balance, Nature Made will launch a new line that focuses on the key areas top of mind for consumers today: sleep, stress and immune health. Rhonda Hoffman, chief marketing officer at Pharmavite, told Drug Store News how the Nature Made Wellblends line is an opportunity to take a more lifestyle-focused approach in engaging with its consumers.

Rhonda Hoffman, chief marketing officer, Pharmavite

Drug Store News: Why has Nature Made decided to focus on addressing concerns of sleep, stress and immune health in 2022? Rhonda Hoffman: These areas of health have always been important to Nature Made. We have traditionally supported them with single-ingredient products that addressed a singular need, such as vitamin C for immune support or melatonin to address sleep issues. The key insight driving Nature Made Wellblends is that our health is composed of multiple systems in the body working together. Keeping these interconnected systems — particularly sleep, stress and immune health — in balance is essential for achieving optimal wellness. DSN: How does the launch of Wellblends address the needs of today’s consumer? RH: The last two years accelerated an already growing desire among consumers to manage their health by bringing the conversation around holistic wellness to the forefront. The challenge is that keeping this wellness cycle in balance remains elusive to a growing number of us. Recent studies indicate 70 million Americans suffer from sleep issues, 77% of Americans report feeling that stress affects their physical health and 60% report taking deliberate steps to support their immune system at least weekly. Our target consumer for Nature Made Wellblends strives for excellence in everything they do, but aiming to be great in all things can be incredibly difficult to achieve. Nowhere is this more evident than in maintaining their wellness routine and keeping their wellness cycle in balance. Understanding this interplay between these key health systems and the challenges consumers face in keeping their wellness cycle in balance, our science team refined the dose of each carefully selected

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ingredient to address specific needs in sleep, stress and immune health. DSN: Tell us a bit about the products that will be included in the new line? RH: Keeping in mind that no two people are the same, our scientists studied the connections between sleep, stress and immune health to develop a full range of 13 targeted blends that support a consumer’s unique set of needs. Being able to curate a set of solutions to meet particular needs allows consumers to better personalize their wellness routine. For people who have a hard time falling and staying asleep, we offer Sleep Longer, a combination of melatonin, L-theanine and GABA in a tri-layer tablet that uses time-release technology to help provide just the right amount of melatonin at the right time so you can fall asleep naturally and sleep through the night. We also offer Immune & Respiratory, which provides advanced immune support through a blend of vitamins C and D3, and EpiCor, a clinically proven postbiotic that supports nasal health and respiratory wellness. DSN: How will the company support the launch? RH: We are so excited about this new line and are making a sizable investment to launch Nature Made Wellblends to make sure it’s front and center for consumers. Over the next several months, we will be executing a robust 360-degree plan that includes a national advertising campaign, special content partnerships, influencer engagement, digital marketing campaigns, public relations outreach and much more. We’re looking at Nature Made Wellblends as an opportunity for us to take a more lifestyle-focused approach in engaging with consumers. dsn

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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3/23/22 12:55 PM


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3/30/22 1:23 PM


ONE-ON-ONE

The Right Fit Global Protection strives to make condom purchases as comfortable as possible

Since usage is something to be encouraged, condom purchasing shouldn’t leave people feeling ashamed at the checkout. And, of course, a comfortable fit is paramount to compliance. Global Protection’s line of ONE Condoms provides options for those who come in all shapes and sizes. Drug Store News recently spoke with Jeff Garlow, senior director of retail and consumer sales, about innovations in the condom and lubricant categories.

Jeff Garlow, senior director of retail and consumer sales, Global Protection

Drug Store News: What is the future of sexual wellness products? Jeff Garlow: Innovation is the future for sexual wellness. Our goal at Global Protection is to make condoms as socially acceptable as toothpaste and as second nature as putting on a seatbelt. We launch new products that address unmet consumer needs to enhance pleasure and encourage more usage. Condoms in general are a basic purchase primarily to reduce sexually transmitted infections and to prevent unintended pregnancy. We address all of those needs with our full line of ONE products available in a variety of thin, lubricated and textured styles. All ONE Condoms feature our proprietary Sensatex softer latex for a natural pleasure feeling. We also have our myONE Custom Fit brand that offers more than 50 condom sizes. Standard condoms on retail shelves today fit approximately 12% of condom users comfortably, according to our research. This means a large percentage of users purchase condoms that are too small or too large, but they may not realize there are options to address this. Lubricant usage continues to increase, and we are now launching items that address menopause and vaginal dryness. DSN: What are you seeing consumers asking for, based on the company’s online sales? JG: Our consumers are asking for thin and textured condoms, but also size variations are a large percentage of our requests for condoms. We currently have more than 50 condom sizes available on myonecondoms.com, and we’ve developed a reduced set of the most popular sizes for brick-andmortar. We offer every size from shorter/snugger to longer/wider and everything in between. You can go to myonecondoms.com and get your free measuring kit to determine the right custom fit for you.

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DSN: Does the company have any new innovations being released into the marketplace? JG: We have a very robust innovation pipeline and really take pride in our R&D efforts to provide consumers with products they need and desire. We’ll be launching exciting products with completely new patented materials and non-latex options. All of this is still locked up in our secret R&D vault, so be on the lookout for exciting news coming soon! DSN: What is next for your business in the years ahead? JG: We’re excited to bring the myONE Custom Fit range of condoms into brick-and-mortar and continue to launch new innovative condom materials into the market. We’ll never stop developing new products that meet customer needs and encourage more people to engage in safer sex practices. We’re also working with our retail partners to develop new private label lubricants. As the leading supplier of condoms to the public health market, we also remain committed to sexual health education and reducing stigma. Most recently, our ONE and myONE Custom Fit condoms became the first brands ever approved by the FDA for anal sex. The FDA authorization was granted based on a clinical trial conducted by the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in partnership with Global Protection. The study found ONE and myONE Custom Fit condoms used during anal sex failed less than 1% of the time. The condom styles that were tested in the clinical trial are ONE Vanish, ONE Super Sensitive and myONE Custom Fit. As of February 2022, the FDA approved these condoms as the first brands ever to be labeled safe and effective for anal sex. The condoms are also still approved for vaginal sex. dsn

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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3/23/22 12:56 PM


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3/30/22 1:08 PM


WOMEN IN THE NEWS

In Her Name

Influential pharmacist and educator Metta Lou Henderson has award named after her By Hannah Esper

It’s quite an honor to receive an award that recognizes the contributions you’ve made to your chosen field. It’s an even bigger honor to have an award named after you, one that will continue to recognize the excellence of those who come after you. Pharmacist and educator Metta Lou Henderson received such an honor in August 2021 when she was awarded the first Dr. Metta Lou Henderson Award for Excellence in Academia. Henderson was presented with the award at the Kappa Epsilon’s virtual convention when the professional pharmaceutical fraternity celebrated its centennial anniversary. She was honored as the initial recipient of the award that will be given to others in the future.

Henderson is the author of “American Women Pharmacists: Contributions to the Profession.” The award, created by Kappa Epsilon Grand Council, recognizes members who have made a significant contribution to pharmacy education. Award criteria focus on four areas: teaching, scholarship, leadership and service, and advancement of the profession. Henderson received her degrees from the University of Arizona, where she currently serves as research professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science. She is also professor emerita at Ohio Northern University, where she served the College of Pharmacy in various academic and administrative capacities including being professor, department chair, associate dean for

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Award criteria focus on four areas: teaching, scholarship, leadership and service, and advancement of the profession.

Metta Lou Henderson, pharmacist and educator

pharmacy student affairs and assistant to the vice president for academic affairs. The Michigan native began teaching at Ohio Northern in 1978 and retired in 1998. Prior to being a member of the Ohio Northern faculty, she was a faculty member at Ferris State University College of Pharmacy, instructor at Kellogg Community College (Michigan) and a graduate assistant at University of Arizona. The educator’s servant leadership spans several professional organizations, including Kappa Epsilon, AACP, APhA, Rho Chi Society, Phi Lambda Sigma (president), American Institute of the History of Pharmacy and the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy. Throughout her tenure, Henderson has mentored many pharmacy students. Upon receiving the award, Henderson told Steven Martin, PharmD, Ohio Northern College of Pharmacy dean, that as a teacher, she most enjoyed “interacting with students and watching their accomplishments.” She also took pride in seeing students “move pharmacy forward.” Over the years, she said pharmacy practice has changed, with patients benefiting from additional services, such as medication management, extensive patient counseling and immunizations. Pharmacy students have embraced these changes, she said. Henderson authored the book “American Women Pharmacists: Contributions to the Profession” and is considered an expert on the history of women in pharmacy. She has received many honors and awards, including the 2021 AIHP Robert P. Fischelis Award for her extraordinary contributions to the institute and the field of pharmacy history. dsn

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CB D N E WS

Day One CBD, LA Distributing Company Join Forces

HempFusion Subsidiary Sagely Naturals Launches Into 3,700 Stores HempFusion Wellness, a health-and-wellness company offering probiotic supplements and products containing CBD, has announced a major distribution agreement with one of the largest retailers in the United States. Products from the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Sagely Enterprises, are expected to be on store shelves at over 3,700 locations by April 2022. The additional stores will increase the company’s footprint from roughly 18,000 to just under 22,000 locations, including nine of the nation’s 10 largest food, drug and mass retailers. Since launching its new line of non-CBD topical OTC pain relief products, Sagely Naturals has seen strong initial uptake, striking distribution agreements with some of the nation’s largest retailers, the company said. “Through this distribution agreement alone, HempFusion will exceed its distribution expansion for all of 2021 as we continue to position the company as a leading health-and-wellness business in the U.S.,” said Jason Mitchell, N.D. and co-founder and CEO of HempFusion. “With an initial launch into 75% of this large U.S. retailer’s stores, HempFusion has the opportunity to introduce our premium wellness products to their millions of loyal consumers who consider this retailer synonymous with ‘America.’”

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Day One CBD sparkling water has teamed up with LA Distributing Company to manage and expand distribution of Day One across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and Santa Barbara, Calif. “Day One is not a new face to the CBD category,” said Richard Media, founder and CEO of LA Distributing Company. “The brand resurrected at the opportune time with the passing of AB45 in 2021; we anticipate mass adoption from all channels of trade in 2022. The branding is simple and straightforward, as they are a premium enhanced sparkling water. The dosage is perfect with the most competitive pricing economics in the market.” The partnership accentuates Day One’s commitment to the California market. “This is a recipe for category disruption, and we expect them to quickly dominate in our footprint,” Media said. “We are excited to have them part of our portfolio and look forward to seeing them become a national brand.” The distribution announcement comes on the heels of Day One being recently named the exclusive and “official CBD partner of USA Pickleball” for a three-year term. “It’s exciting to align Day One with LA Distributing Company, a leading beverage distributor in the LA market,” said Chris Clifford, founder and CEO of Day One Beverages. “It’s no secret that Southern California, and Los Angeles County in particular, has a great concentration of consumers seeking healthier-for-you beverage alternatives, and we couldn’t be more excited to be introducing Day One in this key market alongside the best in the business.”

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CB D N E WS

‘Survivor: Africa’ Winner to Become Momenta Ambassador Trulieve Cannabis announced an exclusive partnership with “Survivor: Africa” winner and cancer survivor Ethan Zohn. Through the alliance, Zohn will be the official ambassador of Momenta, Trulieve’s in-house wellness and overall well-being brand. “I’m proud to partner with Trulieve and Momenta to enhance cannabis advocacy, awareness and education throughout the country,” Zohn said. “As a two-time cancer survivor and stem cell transplant recipient, cannabis, CBD and plant-based wellness have played a critical role in my physical and mental recovery. It’s awesome to represent Trulieve, a brand that prioritizes research, patient education and product quality.” Zohn will document and share his holistic cannabis wellness journey and how he incorporates cannabis into his daily routine. The union includes local and national educational outreach, keynote speaking, philanthropic opportunities and social media collaborations. The former professional soccer player will also wear Momenta apparel during his future athletic endeavors. Zohn’s first function serving as the brand ambassador will occur at the grand opening of Trulieve’s Framingham, Mass., dispensary. “Trulieve is excited to partner with Ethan as we expand our brand presence and identify partnerships aligned with the values of our patients and the communities we serve,” said Valda Coryat, chief marketing officer. “Ethan’s personal wellness journey will inspire and educate patients around the country, and we are pleased to work with him to initiate engaging conversations around cannabis’ holistic benefits.”

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Martha Stewart CBD Releases New Tropical Medley CBD Wellness Gummies Martha Stewart CBD has expanded its portfolio of Tropical Medley CBD Wellness Gummies. According to the brand, the new product offering features three flavors inspired by the lush fruits of tropical destinations: Alphonso mango, coconut and pineapple. The latest flavors, previewed by Martha Stewart at a Palm Beach, Fla. event in February, will transport consumers to sunny destinations, offering a new addition to the brand’s lineup of convenient and trusted flexible wellness solutions, the company said. “My favorite tropical fruits, Alphonso mango, coconut and pineapple, were the inspiration for this new offering,” Stewart said. “Now, our loyal customers can take a moment to prioritize their well-being and relax their mind through the lush flavors of the tropics. It’s always a pleasure to create new products that make wellness more accessible, convenient and delicious.” Each gourmet gummy features texture and 100% hemp-derived CBD isolate, and the gummies are part of Stewart’s continued partnership with Canopy Growth, a diversified cannabis and cannabinoid-based consumer product company. Martha Stewart CBD Tropical Medley Wellness Gummies are available in the following at marthastewartcbd.com: • 30-count offering ($34.99); • 10-count offering ($12.99) in April; and • 3-count offering ($3.99) in April. “The new Tropical Medley CBD Wellness Gummies feature three delicious flavors and are made with Canopy Growth’s high-quality, U.S.-grown CBD isolate, which is the purest and most potent form of CBD, offering consumers the consistent and great-tasting experience they’ve come to love from Martha Stewart CBD,” said Tara Rozalowsky, interim chief product officer at Canopy Growth. “As we gear up for spring break season, we can’t wait for consumers to kick off getting into a tropical mindset with these new flavors inspired by their favorite sunny destinations.”

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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CB D N E WS

NuLeaf Naturals Continues Expansion in Sprouts Farmers Market NuLeaf Naturals announced its expansion into 264 Sprouts Farmers Market locations across the United States. Since appearing in 33 Colorado Sprouts stores over the past two years, the brand expanded in the California market in November, launching in 137 stores. The cannabinoid wellness brand is available in 104 Sprouts Farmers Market locations across Utah, New Mexico, Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas and Florida. “NuLeaf Naturals is excited to cultivate our partnership with the Sprouts Farmers

Market brand,” CEO Ian Kelly said. “We have maintained our commitment to creating the highest-quality CBD products, with consumer safety and transparency at the core of that promise. With this union, Sprouts is helping us further our mission as we help them to fulfill theirs — ‘to inspire, educate and empower every person to eat healthier and live a better life.’” The company said inclusion in the additional stores paves the way for the line of next-generation plant-based products to be more readily available nationwide. The following products will be available to purchase in store: • Full Spectrum CBD Oil 300 mg/5 ml; • Full Spectrum CBD Oil 900 mg/15 ml; and • Full Spectrum CBD Softgels 300 mg/20 softgels.

CV Sciences Debuts +PlusCBD Relief Softgels CV Sciences is welcoming a brand-new product to its current lineup of CBD offerings. New from the San Diego-based company are +PlusCBD Relief Softgels, which join previously launched +PlusCBD Sleep and Calm gummies. Created to deliver seven times more CBDA and CBD than the original +PlusCBD raw formula, the new softgels feature Levagen+ PEA, a CBD-like compound shown by studies to be an alternative to ibuprofen, the company said. “We believe that +PlusCBD Relief Softgels contain the safest, purest and most effective source of CBD/CBDA available on the market today,” said CEO Joseph Dowling. “Our work at CV Sciences centers around the potential for

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CBD to transform our understanding of health, wellness and pain relief. The +PlusCBD Relief Softgels represent another step in our mission to offer innovative and safe alternatives to improve health, leveraging CBD/CBDA and PEA.” By using the aforementioned optimized trio, a healthy inflammatory response and safe alternative in helping manage occasional soreness can be offered to consumers, the company said. “Our product development team creates best-in-class, innovative products that suit individual preferences, address need states and help consumers benefit from CBD in the way that works best for them,” Dowling said.

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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COVER STORY

GET THEM TO CRAVE CANDY With curbside pickup growing, retailers are looking at ways to ignite sales of impulse-driven merchandise BY D E B BY GA R B ATO

When COVID-19 hit the United States in March 2020, food, drug and mass retailers ramped up their fledgling curbside pickup and delivery businesses at breakneck speed. The virus raced across America, causing total online sales of food and CPG products to skyrocket from $1.2 billion in 2019 to $97.7 billion in 2021. Curbside pickup, the most rapidly growing online segment for these categories, now represents 45% of channels’ e-commerce sales, according to a January 2022 Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey.

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COVER STORY

Retailers such as Walmart provided convenient curbside pickup during the pandemic so shoppers could avoid having to enter stores. The service remains popular with customers two years later and shows no signs of slowing down.

Curbside pickup now represents

of channels’ e-commerce sales Despite such growth, retailers and suppliers reacted so quickly to meet consumer demand that they had little time to test concepts and fine-tune digital marketing strategies. Many impulse-driven CPG categories have suffered, since e-commerce lacks the endcaps, special displays and at-register merchandising that propel in-store, add-on sales. Now companies are seeking effective ways to grab shoppers’ attention, particularly in impulse-driven segments such as candy, snacks, single-serve beverages, magazines, new products and seasonal goods. Consequently, AI-generated product recommendations are growing

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increasingly sophisticated and personalized as are banner ads, digital coupons and loyalty program tie-ins. Other strategies include placing free samples in online orders and launching interactive, online cooking forums where shoppers can immediately purchase the products. “Retailers weren’t ready for this massive influx, which came fast and furious, with tens of millions of households buying online for the first time,” said Rob Wilson, managing director at L.E.K. Consulting. “Traditionally driven by in-store promos and displays, impulse categories are hurting. Retailers were at the basic starting point with curbside. Now it’s about getting consumers to spend more and make online more profitable.” (One supplier, Pharmacare, noted that 45% of product movement at Target now occurs outside stores.) According to L.E.K. Consulting and OneSpace.com, online orders are typically dominated by bulk and staple items, impeding profitability. Online shoppers are 20% less likely to view new brands, half as likely to be influenced by packaging or point-of-sale, and half as likely to consider buying a different brand. But consumers have embraced curbside pickup’s convenience, with popularity expected to continue post-pandemic. “It’s obviously the fastest growing channel for many retailers,” said Stefanie Kruse, vice president of digital commerce and omnichannel at Walgreens. “Customers have come to expect this convenience. Retailers will continue investing in capabilities and technologies to strengthen it.”

More Tailored Recommendations Online product suggestions and promotions are the most popular marketing tools for driving impulse purchasing. Buoyed by AI, big data and other tools and technologies, retailers are better tailoring offers for specific consumers and placing them on certain pages of e-commerce sites. “Companies are investing heavily in digital transformation,” said Andrew Csicsila, a managing director in the consumer products practice at Alix

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COVER STORY

Free Gifts Offered with Online Orders Some companies are using free samples to drive sales of impulse merchandise and new products. Samples are included in online orders. A contactless alternative to in-store sampling, digital samples can be sent to specific consumers or distributed randomly. A third option lets digital shoppers choose from a list of free samples at checkout. Pharmacare promoted its Sambucol Black Elderberry supplements via random sampling at Walmart.

Partners. “It’s AI-driven in how they’re thinking about products and buying habits. They’re quicker with data and there’s more available. This lets them identify which consumers should want to shift brands and try things.” David Ritter, a managing director in Alvarez & Marsal’s Consumer Retail Group, said retailers are using new data sources like biometrics. Inputs into data models are broadening, making outputs of modeling efforts — and recommendations — more accurate. “And Kroger started syndicating its own data, which is valuable for CPGs,” he added. “Most retailers use Nielsen or IRI.” For retailers, the personalization journey is ongoing. “Now it’s about getting smarter,” Kruse said. “We’re constantly improving and reiterating technology. Personalized recommendations are very effective if you have strong customer data and can leverage it.” Data sources include My Walgreens, Walgreens’ loyalty program. “Loyalty is a huge part,” she added. “The more you can target and personalize recommendations and cross-selling, the more effective.” Recommendations appear in multiple locations, including digital carts. Careful not to bombard people, Walgreens backs initiatives with extensive testing. “It’s about [targeting] the right person, time and place and being one-to-one,” Kruse said. “We make sure we’re not showing irrelevant recommendations. Before introducing them, we test their impact on ordering, sales and conversion. We’re particularly careful with discreet, sensitive categories.”

Stefanie Kruse, vice president of digital commerce and omnichannel at Walgreens, said the retailer has used contactless sampling in beauty and other categories. “It can be effective at driving supply and delight, particularly when you’re introducing something.” Lauren Picasso, founder and CEO of Cure Hydration, said contactless sampling generates higher ROI than in-store sampling. “We must pay demonstrators hourly in stores. Demos are more work and expense relative to how many people you’re getting in front of.” Cure Hydration launched its electrolyte beverage mix at Walmart and other major retailers in March 2020 at the pandemic’s height. Since Cure Hydration is a start-up, Picasso needed to get products into consumers’ hands. “For us, sampling is the leading conversion driver,” she said. People want to taste it and see if it works. It’s different if you’re an established brand adding flavors.” Whether sampling is general or targeted “depends on the supplier’s objective, although targeted drives more efficient returns,” Kruse said.

Retail Media Networks

Picasso used random sampling and also offered samples during targeted, pre-sale events for supplement-related categories. Samples came with a flyer and QR code. Scanning the code added the item to shoppers’ next online order. Sampling was backed by Google and Facebook ads in corresponding geographic areas.

Walgreens works with suppliers on digital initiatives via the Walgreens Advertising Group, or WAG. Launched in 2020, this in-house ad agency uses data and technology to help deliver personalized e-commerce experiences. WAG’s multiple mediums include digital, social media, CTV and OTT, and traditional media. Kroger, Target, CVS and Walmart have also launched media

Another supplier, Pharmacare, used random sampling at Walmart to promote its Sambucol Black Elderberry supplements. General Mills, Quantum Health, Coca-Cola and Old El Paso Taco Seasoning have also done online sampling with various retailers.

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COVER STORY

Retailers’ Online Cooking Shows Heat Up Digital Sales H-E-B, Albertsons and Walmart are using online cooking forums to entertain consumers while introducing them to recipes and products they might be unfamiliar with or do not know how to use. Consumers can purchase items from events just by clicking. Digital forums attract new shoppers. Since consumers can post comments and interact, they create a sense of engagement and community that mimics physical shopping. Content is available on retailers’ e-commerce sites and, in some cases, via Facebook and other social media platforms, attracting additional shoppers. “H-E-B is using live shopping to make it easy for customers to see, learn more about and use products,” said Giovanna Dimperio, senior director of digital marketing. “Live shopping is a great way to introduce items whose benefits customers wouldn’t see walking past the shelf.” Purchasing occurs during and, in some cases, long after events, she said. The concept was introduced in July 2021 with a live grilling event. Chefendorsed offerings include fresh food, shelf-stable CPG items and other products. Items discussed use pop-ups displayed in the screen’s bottom corner. Chefs are online influencers. H-E-B was the first grocer to leverage Facebook’s new shoppable livestream; it also runs events on YouTube. Dimperio said chefs and topics attract viewers. “We often take viewer suggestions,” she said. In fall 2020, Walmart launched Walmart Cookshop. The free, interactive video hub provides custom content from celebrity chefs and hosts like Jamie Oliver, Sofia Vergara and Patti LaBelle. During each episode, viewers can buy ingredients for pickup or delivery. Videos are powered by Eko Interactive Technology, enabling consumers to control ingredients, flavors and outcomes viewed. In September 2021, Albertsons partnered with technology provider Firework to deploy shoppable content and cooking experiences across its various banners’ websites. “This is about bringing delight and inspiration to digital shopping to make online experiences as fun as discovering new products in our stores,” said Chris Rupp, chief customer and digital officer.

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networks in recent years. In addition to driving online sales, retail media networks capture consumers where they shop and deepen supplier relationships. This year, eMarketer predicts U.S. digital retail media ad spending will jump 31.4% to $41.37 billion. With elimination of third-party cookies, networks should become “more important to brands and advertisers,” said Laura Kennedy, a senior lead analyst of consumer and retail at CB Insights. “There’s an online market shift. Media networks will play a bigger role.” For those without proprietary media networks, Eversight can help. Eversight’s AI-driven software lets retailers and suppliers micro-test thousands of digital promotions with real shoppers. Many Eversight

“Retailers were at the basic starting point with curbside. Now, it’s about getting consumers to spend more and make online more profitable.” — ROB WILSON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, L.E.K. CONSULTING

customers aim to grow new channels and improve add-on sales. “They want to know what matters to their shoppers,” said Alex Pfeffer, senior marketing manager. “Is it free shipping? Adding a Coke? We can quickly experiment to see what matters.” Eversight also experiments with monetary promotions. “We version campaigns around different offer structures,” co-founder David Moran said. “They can be around units, dollars or time-based components.” The company can test graphics and coupons. And software can integrate into retailers’ loyalty data, sending targeted offers, he said.

Digital Coupons and Banner Ads Targeted digital coupons also drive CPG sales. In April 2021, redemption frequency overtook that of print circulars, according to L.E.K.’s Future of

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COVER STORY

Customers will be able to order Starbucks beverages via Target’s app when they arrive to retrieve their curbside orders this fall. The retailer is also implementing drive-up returns.

In April 2021, digital load-to-card coupons comprised of distributed coupons, but redemptions increased to

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Ecommerce in Food & Beverage Report (December 2021). Digital load-tocard coupons comprised 4% of distributed coupons, but redemptions increased to 29%. Free-standing inserts comprised 90% of distribution and 28% of redemption. Boomers are the fastest growing users. Stephanie Rubin, customer success director, North America at eFundamentals, said Kroger’s and Ralph’s e-commerce sites sort online coupons so that “ones most relevant” to particular customers are at the top of the page. “Coupons can also be sorted by popularity and expiration date. It’s very personalized.” Supplier-paid banner ads work well, too. Success revolves around placement, said Rod Sides, vice chairman, U.S. retail and distribution leader at Deloitte Services. “They can also be good brand builders.” Supplier banner ads produced through retail media networks utilize such strategic placement. “They can be very effective,” Kruse said. Rubin recommends tailoring banners around events and seasons to maximize impact. eFundamentals’ category-level banner analytics platforms automatically track activity at category level across multiple retailers. Customized data can support future media planning, measure ROI effectiveness and improve banner ad performance. Art Rowe-Cerveny, vice president of marketing for supplement supplier Pharmacare US, has used category-specific placement to attract consumers. “If someone is buying cough medicine now because they’re sick, it’s more effective to place banners in the category page than on the main page or page

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COVER STORY

According to Walgreens’ Stefanie Kruse, vice president of digital commerce and omnichannel, curbside pickup is “the fastest growing channel for many retailers. … Retailers will continue investing in capabilities and technologies to strengthen it.”

“The more you can target and personalize recommendations and cross-selling, the more effective.” — STEFANIE KRUSE, VICE PRESIDENT OF DIGITAL COMMERCE AND OMNICHANNEL, WALGREENS

highlighting the overall segment — although it’s more expensive,” he said. “Targeted displays with very targeted keyword searches also work well. Walmart and Target do this. Not all retailers do.” Some CPG companies have used banner ads involving online games, including Nivea, Wheat Thins and Procter & Gamble. While strategies vary, the idea is to offer free games — along with points and ascendance to new levels — to consumers willing to view ads or videos. “With traditional digital ads, you bid for position,” Sides said. “These are cost-per-action.”

Last Minute Add-ons Some experts suggest driving sales by offering “last minute” vendor-sponsored items at pickup. When a customer arrives in the parking lot and checks in via a retailer’s app to retrieve a curbside order, a limited menu of 10 to 15 items would appear for

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immediate purchase. The pickup order storage area would have these items in stock for curbside attendants to add to bags last minute. Products could be new, impulse-driven, seasonal or for immediate need, e.g., batteries, candles and flashlights, if there is an impending storm. Sean Burke, a retail industry lead and associate partner at Clarkston Consulting, outlined barriers. “Last minute add-ons would depend on what stores carry and how they manage inventory. Stores aren’t optimized for curbside pickup; they can’t be flexible. There’s a cost. And would you be setting up associates to fail if they can’t find them?” Burke suggested erecting parking lot screens for video promotions like convenience stores do at gas pumps. These could be general or targeted when a customer opens the app to check in. Still, some add-ons are possible. This fall, customers will be able to order Starbucks beverages via Target’s app when they arrive to retrieve Target curbside orders. Beverages will be delivered to cars. The service will be expanded to more stores later this year. Target is also implementing drive-up returns. Perks are intended to improve the overall experience and make Target more competitive with Walmart. “It’s pretty compelling,” Ritter said. Despite technology talk, experts said Target, Walmart and Kroger are among the few retailers whose online targeted marketing is truly sophisticated. Others are getting there. “Retailers with strong loyalty programs can probably do the best job,” CB Insights’ Kennedy said. “While much is suggested, I haven’t seen a lot of innovative stuff, although grocers are getting up to speed.” Burke said some retailers still use suggestions involving related products. They are not applying advanced data that makes product recommendations based on factors such as individual shoppers’ demographics, location, history and purchasing frequency. “There’s levels to the game.” Without COVID-19, it could have taken five years for curbside pickup to reach its current sales level. Having rushed ahead, companies are playing catch-up. Hence, many strategies that go beyond basic fulfillment are experimental. “We’re seeing movement beyond just making curbside easy, simple and fast,” Kennedy said. “They’re trying to generate more engagement to build baskets.” dsn

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BUSINESS IDEAS

E-commerce Rivals Retailers adapt to threats from online sellers By Mark Hamstra

Traditional retail pharmacies will need to evolve to meet the rising expectations of their patients around cost and convenience, industry leaders said. Online competitors continue to try to siphon off sales of both prescription drugs and other products — from CBD and vitamins to greeting cards — but so far brick-and-mortar drug stores have met these challenges by investing in solutions, such as online ordering and delivery to drive-thrus and curbside pickup. They also are emphasizing their in-store services that differentiate them from online players. An increasing number of competitors are entering the space, however, including, most recently, tech entrepreneur Mark

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Cuban. The “Shark Tank” star has invested in the newly renamed Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug, which is promising “huge savings” on hundreds of generic drugs. Before Cuban’s investment, e-commerce giant Amazon acquired PillPack in 2018, a deal that was feared to have the potential to disrupt traditional pharmacy. Amazon was seeking to capitalize on inefficiencies in the traditional brick-andmortar drug store industry by offering a more streamlined, low-cost model, according to a report from consulting and investment firm Back Bay Life Science Advisors. “We see this less as the beginning of a new era for prescription drug distribution or the beginning of the end for traditional

pharmaceutical chains,” Back Bay said in a report on Amazon’s pharmacy operations. “Instead, we see adaptation ahead.” Back Bay cited e-commerce efforts from traditional drug store operators such as CVS and Walgreens, as well as the challenges Amazon faces in providing some pharmacy services online. Brian Sullivan, senior systems sales manager of healthcare solutions at Knapp North America, which provides central prescription fill and other solutions for pharmacies, said pure play online pharmacies have had difficulties penetrating the prescription drug market. “Amazon has the resources to handle a lot more volume, but because they don’t have the kinds of contracts that the

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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Never. Stop. Smiling.

At Edgewell, we strive to add joy to the everyday by infusing the perfect blend of passion, innovation and individuality into all of our personal care brands. We’re committed making extraordinary products that are not only fun to use, but also better for both our customers and our planet.

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BUSINESS IDEAS

Creating Awareness Key for Community Pharmacy Local independent pharmacies are expanding the range of clinical services they offer and investing in digital capabilities to make their stores more convenient to consumers. As competitive threats continue to grow, retailers need to make sure their customers are aware that these new services are available, said Kurt Proctor, senior vice president of strategic initiatives at the National Community Pharmacists Association. Marketing isn’t always a pharmacist’s strong suit, he said, so it may help to recruit someone on the staff who knows their way around the digital marketing and social media world to help promote these offerings. Retailers that seek to specialize in offering services around specific conditions, such as diabetes or weight management, also should consider making connections with other healthcare providers that specialize in those areas. “Get out and talk to providers in your area, or other groups that are related to your particular expertise, and let them know of the kinds of services you’re offering and the expertise that you have,” Proctor said. “Get them to understand how you will help those types of patients navigate their way through all of the things that affect them in their lives because of that disease state. “Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn,” he said. “Let people know you’re there, what you do, how well you do it.” Emphasizing convenience is especially important when promoting such services, Proctor said. “Always be looking for ways to make those things more convenient for your customers because that’s the angle that those competitors are coming from,” he said. “That’s why you’ve got to make sure folks understand how convenient you are.”

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84% of patients participated in a telehealth appointment in the last 12 months.

Source: CoverMyMeds 2022 Medication Access Data Guide

large PBMs have, or the chains, they’re not getting the volume I think that they were expecting,” he said. “They don’t really have a brick-and-mortar presence, and that’s where I think the retail chains and independent retailers extend their advantage because they are neighborhood health hubs.” Traditional drug stores have proven over time that the convenience they offer, the high level of personal care and the ability to offer in-person disease management have so far given them the edge over the efficiencies of e-commerce alternatives. Although online operators often tout lower prices, they tend to attract “commodity” shoppers who may need a one-off prescription, rather than the high-value customers who depend on their local pharmacies for a range of services, said Kurt Proctor, senior vice president of strategic initiatives at the National Community Pharmacists Association.

“Pharmacies must embrace remote monitoring and diagnostics, and rethink their digital capabilities to maintain and increase patient engagement opportunities.” — Eyad Farah, president, Health Mart and Health Mart Atlas

“I don’t think [online channels] have been a big threat yet,” he said. While the purchase of some front-end items has migrated online, the core business for community pharmacies remains prescription drug sales, he said. In addition, most community pharmacies have long offered home delivery of prescriptions, including same-day delivery, and many also allow shoppers to order additional items from other areas of the store.

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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Oscillococcinum

®

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BUSINESS IDEAS

36%

of patients said they are most often using mail order, home delivery or online pharmacies to receive their medication. Of those, about two-thirds are most often using delivery from local pharmacies. Source: CoverMyMeds 2022 Medication Access Data Guide

Steve Anderson, president and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, or NACDS. “Before and throughout the COVID pandemic, NACDS chain and associate members have remained focused on meeting the overall health-and-wellness needs of patients and consumers, as well as serving as a go-to source for an array of consumer products,” he said. “Over the past two years, the NACDS membership rose to the unique challenges presented by the COVID crisis — innovating boldly to meet changing consumer demands and mindsets, including changes in the way that consumers shop. “This includes omnichannel, digital, click-and-collect, delivery and much more,” he said. “We have heard NACDS chain members say they have accelerated the development and deployment of new technology by several years.

“Services will remain a central and unique aspect of the pharmacy value proposition.” — Steve Anderson, president and CEO, NACDS

Still, the increased use of online channels during the pandemic should inspire even small, independent retailers to consider enhancing their e-commerce capabilities with a mobile app and other online and text-based services, Proctor said. “Most of the customers of our independent members are not swayed by home delivery because if they want it, they can get it from their pharmacy,” Proctor said. “Or their independent pharmacy may be very conveniently located to them, and they like the human interaction of going in and taking care of their business there. “I think everybody is trying to meet the customers where they want to be met and offering convenience,” he said. Food and drug retailers have proven during the last two years that they are up to the challenge of meeting consumers’ evolving demands, said

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“It also is worth emphasizing that throughout the pandemic, pharmacies have provided trusted, convenient and equitable access to services ranging from COVID testing to vaccinations for COVID, flu and many other vaccinepreventable illnesses,” Anderson said. “Services will remain a central and unique aspect of the pharmacy value proposition.” Many food and drug retailers have been at the forefront of pharmacy innovation and have taken steps to compete against the threats of online players. David Carmouche, senior vice president of omnichannel care at Walmart health and wellness, said the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer is well positioned to face today’s competitive pressures. “Walmart revolutionized the healthcare industry 15 years ago when we launched the $4 generic drug price program, and we continue innovating today to provide health-and-wellness products and services to our customers when, where and how they want it,” Carmouche said. “What our customers have told us is that they want convenient access to care by qualified healthcare professionals in their community who they know and trust. We are well positioned to provide accessible care, both in person at our Walmart Health clinics, vision centers and pharmacies or through our growing telehealth offering and Walmart+ pharmacy benefits.”

Retail Pharmacies Evolve Danny Sanchez, senior vice president and general manager at EnlivenHealth, said that much like the way growth of mail order has stalled, pure play online pharmacy also faces headwinds as traditional retailers have proven their ability to evolve to meet the needs of their customers and patients. “There is a certain segment of patients that will use mail order, but for the most part, brick-and-mortar didn’t go anywhere,” he said. “It’s still very much alive.” Similarly, he said, retail pharmacy offers a level of personal interaction and trust built up over years that online pharmacy can’t match. “Certainly there are services where you have telepharmacists, and those are fantastic and they

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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#

1 Selling pen needles just got even better. 1,2*

Patient-preferred 2* BD Nano™ 2nd Gen Pen Needles Patented features include:2,3 Wider outer cover easier to attach to pen device Larger, green, inner needle shield easier to grip and remove before an injection

4 mm x 32G BD Nano™ 2nd Gen Pen Needles

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Contoured needle base provides greater comfort and compensates for injection force variability, supporting more reliable subcutaneous injections Existing proven benefits of BD Ultra-Fine™ PentaPoint™ Comfort and EasyFlow™ Technology4,5

3 BD Nano™ 2nd Gen Pen Needles NDC/HRI #: 08290-3205-50 will replace BD Nano™ Ultra-Fine™ Pen Needles NDC/HRI #: 08290-3201-22 The unique features of BD Nano™ 2nd Gen 4mm Pen Needles offer a number of potential benefits, including: • Reduction in injection pain6† • Less force required to deliver the full dose4‡

3Compatible with widely used pen injection devices7

3Covered by most health plans

• Greater confidence that the full dose has been delivered compared to other pen needles studied4§||

across Commercial, Medicaid, and Medicare Part D¶

*226 patients with diabetes on insulin treatment were studied with a 150 mm visual analog scale (mean scores of >0 mm; clinically significant difference of ≥5 mm). BD Nano™ 2nd Gen demonstrated superiority vs. BD Nano™ for overall preference. †Single-blind, randomized, control trial of 209 patients with diabetes where each completed 6 pairs of abdominal injections of 0.3 mL sterile saline in random order and utilized a 150mm visual analog scale (mean scores of >0mm; clinically significant difference of ≥5mm). BD Nano™ 2nd Gen 32Gx4mm demonstrated superiority vs each comparator group for less injection pain. [(P <0.01) (Artsana 33Gx4mm mean +17.4 mm, 95% CI, +11.3 to +23.5mm); (Artsana 34Gx3.5mm mean +17.6mm, 95% CI, +11.4 to +23.7mm); (Comfort EZ 33Gx4mm mean +9.1mm, 95% CI, +3.1 to +15.3mm); (Terumo 34Gx4mm mean +7.3mm, 95% CI, +2.2 to +12.4mm)]. ‡Single-blind, randomized, control trial of 209 patients with diabetes where each completed 6 pairs of abdominal injections of 0.3 mL sterile saline in random order and utilized a Likert Scale where ratings range from -2 to 2; positive scores reflect less thumb force for BD Nano and negative scores reflect less thumb force for the comparator pen needle. Scores of 0 indicate no difference. BD Nano™ 2nd Gen 32Gx4mm contoured hub 5-bevel extra thin wall demonstrated superiority vs each comparator group for less injection force. [(P <0.01) (Artsana 33Gx4mm mean +0.80, 95% CI, +0.62 to +0.98); (Artsana 34Gx3.5mm mean +0.98, 95% CI, +0.80 to +1.16); (Comfort EZ 33Gx4mm mean +0.31, 95% CI, +0.13 to +0.49); (Terumo 34Gx4mm mean +0.21, 95% CI, +0.07 to +0.35)]. §198 patients with diabetes were included in this prospective, multicenter, randomized, open-label, 2-period, crossover study to evaluate differences in confidence that the full dose of insulin was delivered between the participants’ usual pen needle (PN) and the corresponding extra-thin wall (XTW) PN. Confidence in delivering the full dose of insulin was assessed with the use of a visual analog scale (VAS). Confidence results would be considered statistically significant if the 95% CI for the mean VAS score was either positive (XTW preferred) or negative (current PN preferred). XTW PNs had statistically significantly increased confidence that the full dose was delivered by 24.4mm ([95% CI, 19.7-29.1] [P<0.001]). ||Single-blind, randomized, control trial of 154 patients with diabetes where each completed 6 pairs of abdominal injections of 0.3 mL sterile saline. Leakage was measured with a calibrated analytical scale. The occurrence of leakage from the needle tip and the injection site (measurements combined) was defined as wet weight equivalent to ≥5% of the injection volume, [equivalent to ≥0.015 g (0.015 mL)]. Leakage frequency for BD Nano™ 2nd Gen 32Gx4mm contoured hub 5-bevel extra thin wall was 0.4% vs 3-bevel posted hub (Artsana 33Gx4mm, 6.2%; P<0.001); (Artsana 34Gx3.5mm, 18.8%; P =0.026); (No significant difference vs Comfort EZ 33Gx4mm). ¶Fingertip Formulary, as of 1/27/2022. 1. IQVIA XPT Device Retail TRx Data. United States, Nov 2020- Oct 2021. 2. Whooley S, Briskin T, Gibney MA, et al. Evaluating the User Performance and Experience with a Re-Engineered 4 mm x 32G Pen Needle: A Randomized Trial with Similar Length/Gauge Needles. Diabetes Ther. 2019;10(2):697-712. 3. Rini CR, Roberts BC, Morel D, Klug R, Selvage B, Pettis RJ. Evaluating the Impact of Human Factors and Pen Needle Design on Insulin Pen Injection. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2019; doi: 10.1177/1932296819836987. 4. Aronson R, Gibney M, Oza K, Berube J, Kassler-Taub K, Hirsch L. Insulin pen needles: effects of extra-thin wall needle technology. Clin Ther. 2013;35(7):923-933. 5. Hirsch L, Gibney M, Berube J, Manocchio J. Impact of a modified needle tip geometry on penetration force as well as acceptability, preference, and perceived pain in subjects with diabetes. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2012;6(2):328-335. 6. Gibney M., Fitz-Patrick D., Klonoff D., Whooley S., Lu B., Yue W., Glezer S. User experiences with second-generation 32-gauge 4 mm vs. thinner comparator pen needles: A Prospective Randomized Trial. Current Medical Research and Opinion, DOI: 0.1080/03007995.2020.1803248, 2020. 7. BD Compatibility Confirmation for Pen Needles and Pen Injector Manufacturers, Document Number: 149OTH-0004-20, Ver R, Dated 3 February 2021.

bd.com/pharmacypartner BD, the BD Logo, EasyFlow, Nano, PentaPoint, Ultra-Fine and Veo are trademarks of Becton, Dickinson and Company or its affiliates. © 2022 BD. All rights reserved. U.S. Patent Nos. D787054, D825749, D804023 and other patents pending. 2205356556DSN

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BUSINESS IDEAS

52%

of patients said they feel their relationship with their pharmacist has changed during the pandemic.

Source: CoverMyMeds 2022 Medication Access Data Guide

can answer questions, but nothing is going to replace your local pharmacists,” Sanchez said. In-store services are especially important for patients who are on multiple medications and seeking to manage chronic diseases. Having a trusted pharmacist who they can discuss their medications with not only benefits the patient but helps reduce the overall costs of health care, he said. In addition, pharmacies are only going to become more involved in patient care through activities such as the test-totreat initiative that President Biden recently unveiled for COVID19, in which patients can get tested and receive a prescription on the spot. “I think test and treat is going to go beyond COVID and will extend to the flu and other ailments and other opportunities,” Sanchez said. “I think that is the beginning of the curve. It is opening the door for pharmacists, and I think that is fantastic.” Sanchez also said he envisions that digital connectivity among pharmacies and physicians’ offices will continue to advance, so that patients might begin their journey with a telehealth visit with a physician, who then sends them to a pharmacy for a test. Patients then may be able to pick up a prescription through an agreement with the physician or through prescribing rights that the pharmacist may have. That could save both time and money, Sanchez said, describing retail pharmacy as “the lowest cost of entry into health care,” compared with urgent care clinics or physicians’ offices. Sandra Canally, founder and CEO of The Compliance Team, which provides certifications for a variety of pharmacy services, agreed that traditional drug stores can compete with emerging online players by offering more clinical services. “This is especially true for patients with chronic diseases that

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need extra attention,” she said, noting that these patients often spend more time visiting their pharmacist than they do their primary care doctors. Immunizations, screenings and other face-to-face services are the kinds of offerings that distinguish brick-and-mortar retailers from online competitors, Canally said. Some pharmacies also have integrated their services with some primary care practices and leveraged the retail dietitians in their stores. “These are all positive add-ons that can impact patient outcomes, and obviously are good for the pharmacy’s operation as well,” she said. “It’s all about expanding the business model. If you have the space for a nurse practitioner, or someone to meet with customers to do diabetic teaching, you’re expanding services to meet the needs of the patient.” Pharmacies will continue to play an important role in helping patients manage their diseases and “keep them out of the emergency room,” Canally said. “The prescriber will take note of that,” she said. “They are going to want to do business with the pharmacy that is doing more to help their patients than just fill their scripts.” Knapp’s Sullivan said that in addition to offering more services to patients as a point of differentiation from online players, retail pharmacies can also take steps to make their own operations more convenient and efficient. “If you think about online, what’s their advantage? Their advantage is convenience and cost,” he said. “If pharmacies can address their cost through the reduction of fulfillment and labor costs by using a centralized fill solution, that’s one thing that they can do. If they can add convenience and add more revenue to their operations by differentiating their offering for the patients, now they’ve added more value for the customer, and

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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BUSINESS IDEAS

the guys without the brick-and-mortar can’t play in that space, at least as they’re structured today.” Sullivan noted that pharmacies that offer more services and allow pharmacists and technicians to practice at the top of their licenses also provide a more rewarding work environment for those individuals, which is helpful in a tight labor market.

“I challenge us to think boldly because in this scenario, the pharmacy is the center of the equation — not the patient.” — Eyad Farah, president of McKesson’s Health Mart and Health Mart Atlas

Pharmacies Support Communities The pandemic helped emphasize in consumers’ minds the importance of community businesses, as each helped support the other during the challenging times, when shopping became challenging for some people and businesses sought to juggle safety, supply chain and labor issues. “The past two years cemented what we’ve always known about pharmacies: They play an integral role within their local healthcare ecosystem and supporting patients in their communities,” said Jenni Zilka, president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy, the independent franchise arm of AmerisourceBergen. “The expansion of clinical services offered at pharmacies throughout the pandemic has been critical in our country’s effort to curb COVID-19 infections, and the pandemic experience has been proof that access to brick-andmortar locations is essential.” Pharmacies had already been supporting comprehensive clinical services such as immunizations, weight loss management, diabetes management, smoking cessation counseling and others, she said.

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“Then, the pandemic taught us just how agile community pharmacies are and how much capability they have in delivering trusted and valuable care to their communities,” Zilka said. “From testing to vaccinating to delivering COVID-19 therapeutics — I think we’re seeing just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what pharmacy has the capability to do.” Retail pharmacy is also proving to be a line of support for local healthcare systems, especially in rural or underserved areas, she said. “Community pharmacies will continue to thrive and continue to evolve into wellrounded healthcare destinations, especially as health equity remains a priority,” Zilka said. “Pharmacies are well positioned to address health disparities in our country because they’re accessible, highly trusted, ingrained in communities, and independent pharmacists specialize in personalized care for the individual. So, there’s still tremendous opportunity, and still a great deal of demand, for local pharmacies to serve as true healthcare destinations for communities.” Still, patient expectations around e-commerce have risen during the pandemic, said Eyad Farah, president of Health Mart and Health Mart Atlas, the independent franchise divisions of McKesson. “Coming out of the pandemic, the biggest challenge to traditional pharmacies may simply be the expectations for convenience and customer service that people experience with online shopping,” he said. “Truthfully, these expectations are now patient demands, and they are increasingly being applied to health care as well.” Patients are progressively accessing health care via digital channels, with a wider range of options for care and medications, Farah said. He noted that 84% of patients participated in a telehealth appointment in the last 12 months, according to the 2022 CoverMyMeds Medication Access Report. Pharmacies need to consider the patient journey and the role pharmacy plays in that journey, he said. “While patients have higher demands, they still want a personal touch, whether virtually or in person, that only local, community pharmacies can provide with convenient, one-on-one quality care,” Farah said. He also said that while competition from digital pharmacies has grown during the pandemic, this trend has also created opportunities for pharmacies to implement solutions of their own that can improve convenience, speed and transparency. “Pharmacies must address an omnichannel experience, offering both online and real-world ways for patients to access services and information that help them manage their health,” Farah said. “This could be as simple as a robust website with online refill capabilities, home and mail delivery, or creating two-way digital communication with patients via an app.” The use of point-of-care diagnostic tools, including fitness trackers and smartwatches that can collect patient data and send it directly to pharmacists and other providers, has also been increasing, he said. “Pharmacies must embrace remote monitoring and diagnostics, and rethink their digital capabilities to maintain and increase patient engagement opportunities,” Farah said. “Consumers are using virtual visits more than ever before and plan to continue using them past the pandemic.” To help improve patient care through technology, Health Mart recently launched the Health Mart Digital Portfolio, a solution designed to help pharmacies attract new patients, highlight unique pharmacy services and build stronger relationships within the community. Powered by Tabula Rasa HealthCare’s PrescribeWellness platform, the Health Mart Digital Portfolio provides pharmacies with a new suite of digital tools and services, including a consumer web portal and mobile application, to enhance pharmacy reach and patient outcomes via a multichannel online platform. It also includes a customer portal, giving pharmacies the ability to provide an easy-to-use prescription refill option for patients. dsn

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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DSN WEBINARS

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3/30/22 1:34 PM


Beauty’s Changing Needs Hair care brands step up to address aging hair and scalp concerns By Gisselle Gaitan

As one grows older, finding the right product that works with specific hair care and scalp needs can be challenging. The beauty industry is aware of these needs, and several brands are catering to a variety of them that include keeping gray hair strong, healthy and vibrant; addressing hair loss concerns; and keeping the scalp hydrated and nourished without stripping it of essential oils. Procter & Gamble is addressing many of these worries with two brands — Hair Biology and KeepItAnchored — that address the aging hair concerns of women and hair loss in both men and women, respectively.

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“Now that products are being created specifically for hair changing with age, it is becoming more common for women noticing age-related hair changes to expect products tailored to them — rather than having to adapt products created for different hair needs,” said Jeni Thomas, P&G principal scientist. “And this is leading to more conversations about the natural, age-related hair changes that had been unfamiliar to many.” Thomas said some of the changes hair goes through during these times include a difference in pigmentation, scalp oil production, shape of the strands, thickness of the strands and the total number of strands on the head. “Research has shown that when [the] scalp is not in its best condition, hair’s anchor to the scalp can be weakened, causing excessive hair loss,” Thomas said. “Protecting scalp and hair roots from oxidative stress with a particular antioxidant approach (the basis for KeepItAnchored) has been shown to strengthen hair’s anchor to the scalp so you can keep hair for longer.” Making sure hydration and nourishment needs are met is vital when it comes to changing hair and scalp conditions, and Alikay Naturals is a brand that’s working to ensure that consumers can find the products they need without any compromises.

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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Batiste Naturally Dry Shampoo

Hair Food Mango & Aloe Curl Definition Shampoo and Conditioner

SRP: $7.99 each Infused with a blend of sweet mango, aloe and other curated ingredients, Hair Food Mango & Aloe Curl Definition shampoo and conditioner work to tame frizz, nourish hair and bring curls back to life.

SRP: $13.99 Available in Coconut Milk & Hemp, Bamboo Fiber & Gardenia, and Green Tea & Chamomile, Batiste Naturally Dry Shampoo is made with 100% natural extracts and rice starch to absorb grease and oil. The shampoo has an invisible finish that does not leave behind any white residue.

In order to have a healthy scalp to flourish and strengthen your hair, you need a healthy base. You must feed and nourish from the roots, and maintain a consistent routine for healthy results. — Rochelle Graham-Campbell, CEO and co-founder, Alikay Naturals

Wet Brush Pure + Clean Detangling Brush

SRP: $18.99 Wet Brush’s Pure + Clean Detangling Brush features a hygiene-forward design that includes a removable cushion and bristles that have an anti-microbial coating infused with Silver Ion technology to repel microbes, bacteria and any other pathogen. Aimed at minimizing breakage, the brush is made with IntelliFlex bristles that glide through tangles.

“Scalp health is extremely important for overall hair health,” said Rochelle GrahamCampbell, CEO and co-founder of Alikay Naturals. “Our skin is the largest organ of our body, and our scalp is a part of that skin. Just like a tree has roots, your hair grows from the roots of your scalp. In order to have a healthy scalp to flourish and strengthen your hair, you need a healthy base. You must feed and nourish from the roots, and maintain a consistent routine for healthy results. That’s why we have the Essential 17 Hair Growth Oil for ongoing nourishment for all ages.” SheaMoisture is another brand that is tackling these needs for consumers by addressing a variety of concerns — including scalp health — through its various hair care lines. “Aging hair is more prone to dryness, in turn making it weaker and more prone to breakage, damage and dullness,” said Alyssa Banks, brand manager at SheaMoisture. “Dryness can also plague the scalp, creating its own set of issues. Fair Trade raw shea butter is a core piece of our brand’s DNA. Every single product is formulated with this powerful moisturizing and nourishing ingredient to ensure we are helping her achieve a healthy scalp and beautiful hair.” Having hair that is more prone to breakage and a scalp that is more prone to dryness can influence the type of products consumers gravitate toward, and they can also influence the type of ingredients consumers like to stay away from.

DRUGSTORENEWS.COM April 2022

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Odele Moisture Mask

SRP: $12.99 Odele’s Moisture Mask, lightly fragranced with a 100% natural signature blend of cucumber, oak moss and ylang ylang, is a deep moisture-infusion mask. Featuring vegetable protein Kervais to increase hair strength, the mask also contains quinoa, argan oil and jojoba to repair, restore, nourish and add shine back to hair. Designed for all hair types, it is a genderneutral product.

Research has shown that when [the] scalp is not in its best condition, hair’s anchor to the scalp can be weakened, causing excessive hair loss. — Jeni Thomas, P&G principal scientist “Scalp concerns are not one-size-fitsall and SheaMoisture does not take a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to developing our products,” Banks said. Wherever our consumer’s concern lies, we are looking to innovate and create products that address them uniquely for a better overall hair and scalp experience, and are continuing to prioritize learning about her unique needs within this space.”

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Conair Unbound Cordless Auto Curler

SRP: $79.99 Unbound Cordless Auto Curler by Conair is a rechargeable auto curler designed to help users create the perfect curl or wave. Featuring 60 minutes of cord-free run time, depending on hair type and heat timer settings, it has a multidirectional curl action for alternating curl direction and an anti-tangle function. It also comes with a heat-resistant storage pouch.

For example, some consumers are more apt to choose hair care products that are free of sulfates, but Thomas pointed out how, at times, it may not be the best choice for certain hair care concerns. “Technically, we know that sulfate-containing shampoos can be formulated to be as gentle or even gentler than some sulfate-free products,” Thomas said. “It all depends on the full formulation and how the ingredients are working together, which takes experience with hair care formulations to get right, regardless of the cleansing ingredients used. Sulfate-containing shampoos also tend to have more flexibility for other hair benefits that can be offered like smoothing or hydration in addition to cleansing.” Understanding these issues is why Hair Biology offers a mix of sulfate-containing and sulfate-free shampoo options. Alikay Naturals opts to not use sulfates in its products, but encourages consumers to educate themselves on the pros and cons of sulfates and make an informed decision on what works best for them personally. “While we at Alikay Naturals don’t use sulfates, customers should educate themselves on the use of ingredients to make the best decisions for themselves,” Graham-Campbell said. ”Each person needs to evaluate which one works best for their hair, being mindful of using any that strips their hair’s natural moisture and oil.” SheaMoisture also chooses to not include sulfates in any of its products. By placing a special emphasis on incorporating sustainable, natural and fair trade ingredients ensures the brand is avoiding ingredients of concern, the company said. “We’ve made a brand promise to formulate all SheaMoisture products without sulfates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil or petroleum,” Banks said. “We are committed to keeping that promise as we continue bringing new products to market for our consumer.” While each brand is currently working on a new batch of products that address these concerns, along with many others, it’s obvious that catering to one’s aging hair care and scalp needs ultimately depends on what’s best for the individual. dsn

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Women-led Brands Roundtable

TOP ROW (left to right)

Abbie Mietz, COO, Fairy Tales Hair Care; Jessica Johnson, head of marketing, TruSkin; and Joy Chen, co-founder and CEO, Pure Culture Beauty MIDDLE ROW (left to right)

Dametria Mustin Kinsley, global marketing vice president and head of diversity, equity and inclusivity, PDC Brands; Lindsay Holden, co-founder, Odele Beauty; and Mary van Praag, CEO, Milani Cosmetics BOTTOM ROW (left to right)

Sally Mueller, co-founder and CEO, Womaness and Psyche Terry, founder, Urban Hydration

Standing Out

Beauty leaders discuss how to survive — and stand out — in the beauty business Women are founding more beauty brands and rising to the top roles in companies once spearheaded mostly by men. Drug Store News wanted to hear from women in the beauty business, so we pulled together a group of both founders and executives in top roles at beauty firms for a virtual roundtable. Their responses were very illuminating.

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Drug Store News: What was your journey into the beauty business?

Drug Store News: What pushed you as a founder to create your brand?

Psyche Terry, founder, Urban Hydration: My husband Vontoba and I started Urban Hydration 10 years ago on a mission to create natural and clean personal care products that achieve stunning results while saving the world. After years of testing and investing in every remedy in the market for dry skin and hair, I made the conscious decision to offer something that not only can help myself and my family but that I can personally pick and mix what goes in it.

Sally Mueller, co-founder and CEO, Womaness: We [with co-founder Michelle Jacobs] spent decades devoting our brainpower and creativity to serving women at nearly every stage of their lives — career, marriage, pregnancy, kids. Michelle and I have several success stories incubating brands from scratch or building media brands into successful product brands. Versed, Who What Wear and Real Simple being a few examples. Being product creators is in our blood, and the creation of Womaness came from the most authentic place — our own personal stories.

Joy Chen, co-founder and CEO, Pure Culture Beauty: My experience with my own skin journey inspired me to enter the beauty industry because I wanted to provide people with the necessary tools and knowledge to make their own decisions about which products they use on their skin. My time as the CEO of YesTo [Chen has 17 years’ experience in the business, including roles at Clorox and YesTo], where I spent five years building the brand to a natural skin care company, inspired me to take an entrepreneurial leap with my business partner, Victor Casale, to launch Pure Culture Beauty — a clean skin care brand that provides scientifically proven custom skin care to consumers. Mary van Praag, CEO, Milani Cosmetics: I’ve always had a passion for the beauty industry. I sold Avon in high school and then I pursued a career in CPG, which led me to key brands in beauty, such as Revlon, Coty and Perricone MD. Mass color is a favorite, with its balance between art/science, creativity and innovation. Dametria Mustin Kinsley, global marketing vice president and head of diversity, equity and inclusivity, PDC Brands: When I first went natural, over 10 years ago, there weren’t many brands in the natural hair care sector and retailers didn’t really have much to offer, especially within a price point I could afford. As the saying goes, if you want to see change sometimes you must be the change. Jessica Johnson, head of marketing, TruSkin: I started my career at The Hershey Company, and was drawn to the passion and excitement their consumers had for their brands. That passion from consumers is something I’ve prioritized in my career since. My next move was joining Burt’s Bees, where I was able to help lead the brand’s expansion into cosmetics and grow the skin care business as Burt’s Bees leaned into that category. I most recently joined TruSkin and was yet again drawn to the opportunity to be part of a brand with such loyal and passionate consumers, and I’m very excited to help continue to grow that.

Drug Store News: What’s behind Odele Beauty’s clean hair care range? Where did you secure funding? Lindsay Holden, co-founder, Odele Beauty: We’re natural problem solvers, and honestly, we wanted something that we couldn’t seem to find despite there being so much out there — so we made it. We self-funded at first, got as far as we could and then raised some capital through a friends and family round when it came time to needing a large amount of inventory to support a retail business award. Drug Store News: Fairy Tales Hair Care has had great success in building retail distribution. Any advice for nascent brands? Abbie Mietz, COO, Fairy Tales Hair Care: Negotiating the contract is key. It is important for any brand to have established rules of engagement before you commit to distribution. The relationship between the retailer and the brand should include concessions from both sides whether it be to the terms, pricing, associated fees, door count, etc. Open communication is also necessary as you define the selling expectations on shelf and establish your marketing plans with the buyer. Drug Store News: Can others share advice in going from direct-to-consumer into big retailers? Chen: When dealing with big chains, brands need to understand that each chain has things that are important to them and not all partnerships will be successful in the same way. Another major concern right now is the supply chain. Some brands often don’t consider the supply chain requirement when entering retail partnerships, and getting inventory in stock is the No. 1 necessity when wanting to work successfully with a big chain. Mueller: The biggest challenges are all of the external challenges you don’t always anticipate — for example, raising money just as COVID shut the world down or supply chain issues as a result

DRUGSTORENEWS.COM April 2022

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Women-led Brands Roundtable

of COVID and global economic issues. Also, the challenges to getting ads approved by Facebook despite being approved by regulatory attorneys. The challenges are constantly happening. Brands need to know the level of investment needed to be successful with big chains. Plan to invest over $1 million in capital to cover inventory, marketing and talent. Timing is everything; it might be better to wait to enter a retailer — make them really want you so you have more leverage. Holden: Launching a brand in January 2020, weeks before a global pandemic has been our biggest challenge. What we all thought would impact a few weeks turned into a few years, and we’re still dealing with the mess that it has caused. We’re still working remotely, oftentimes with our children home from school. We’ve had delays and challenges in operations like we’ve never seen. What used to take a month to secure now takes six months at best, so we’ve had to get creative with what, how, when we source things like packaging to ensure we can keep products in stock. van Praag: This past year, challenges have remained in the global supply chain. We have worked on our safety stock requirements, global demand forecast and classified our assortment. In partnership with our key suppliers, we have managed through and prioritized key SKUs. Big chains are an important vehicle to the consumer, making products readily available in channels consumers shop most often. Each retailer wants a point of difference, and we find unique ways to be relevant. Milani is also investing behind breakthrough marketing to drive trips and conversion to build strong productivity for the category. Brick-and-mortar is a place where consumers find and discover Milani. Drug Store News: Anyone care to share some mistakes they’ve made along the way or lessons learned? Holden: We misspelled the word “perfect” on the front of one of our packages at the time of launch. With the launch of the brand, we scrubbed every detail of everything, but we totally didn’t see it. In hindsight, I like that it happened — it serves as a good reminder that despite our best efforts, mistakes happen, and that’s OK. No one is “pefect.” Chen: One lesson that I’ve learned is to never launch a product that the consumer doesn’t want. There’s often a lot of pressure on brands to launch products that might be “trendy” to keep up with consumers, but it’s even more important to listen to the needs and wants of your specific audience to launch products that they’re actually looking for in addition to products that are different from what’s already out there. Terry: No one tells you when you leave your job of over 25 years together in corporate America because you feel “called and led”

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to do something better and something different, how difficult it would be. We’ve been full of ideas from the very start, and, in fact, it’s allowed us to be first to market before lots of the bigger box brands have been. We went after plant-based natural care 10 years ago when it was just an idea in the actual grocery aisle. I think my biggest mistake was not telling our story louder, faster. We’ve used incremental growth and crested loyal customers over the years that have followed us from four stores to now 32,000 stores across the country. But I think we could have made an impact faster and wider had I understood the power of investors and raising money to support a big, fresh idea. Drug Store News: We are now into the second quarter of 2022. How is business? Kinsley: As a brand we have seen a large interest in consumers ordering online due to the pandemic, but there are still a lot of consumers who want that in-store shopping experience. Just like the world has evolved, so have we as a brand. We are in the process of changing both our digital footprint as well as our on-shelf presence to make it easier for consumers to navigate our portfolio to better customize Cantu for their hair type and texture. This omnichannel world is not going anywhere, so it’s important more now than ever to serve our consumer whether they are scrolling or strolling. Johnson: Business is good! Something we’ve seen from skin care enthusiasts is that COVID caused many to lean into skin care as a way to prioritize their health and practice self-care. As a brand that started on Amazon, we’re continuing to see growth in that channel, and are excited to be expanding distribution in brick-and-mortar stores as more people return to in-person shopping! Mietz: After COVID shut down the nation in 2020, FTHC was able to capitalize on our online business as well as the entire product offering. Our omnichannel strategy allowed us to provide an outlet for our consumers to continue to shop our brand online and at retailers that stayed open during COVID. Now we are seeing a trend that would suggest parents are coming back to stores. We will continue to serve our customers with an omnichannel solution. During the past three months, FTHC has increased distribution of our other collections into retail by over 8,000 doors in Walgreens, CVS, Ulta and H-E-B to name a few. This will allow the customers who found products from the other collections online to have more retail availability for immediate purchase. van Praag: Business is “on fire” and we have outperformed the category in all periods. Our momentum and productivity improvements are strong. We see traffic improving in brick-and-mortar. Consumers want a moment of joy and beauty brings that. dsn

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3/28/22 2:16 PM


OMNICHANNEL REACH E-Newsletter (DSN AM)

Gross Average Weekly Opens:

Average number of opens over a 1-week period: Gross Opens:

36,390

Gross Open Rate:

43%

Health & Wellness 36,817

Unique Opens:

28,210

Generics Gross Average Weekly Opens:

Website Visitors 137,200 over a 3-month period Webinar Total Registrants for 2021 - 5,781

34,783

Beauty Gross Average Weekly Opens:

34,435

Contact your sales rep now to learn about the possibilities for your brand: Alex Tomas Sales Account Manager 212.756.5155 atomas@drugstorenews.com

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Steven Werner Regional Manager 312-961-7162 swerner@drugstorenews.com

3/30/22 1:35 PM


HEALTH: SEXUAL WELLNESS

Less Blushing, More Buying The sexual wellness category is benefiting from innovation and increased shelf space By Nora Caley

Consumers might not want to spend much time in the sexual wellness aisle, but they do want to buy products. Retailers that make it easy for shoppers to find the newest sex toys, lubricants and condoms can thrive in the category, which has been growing. While the pandemic drove some sales increases, the current boost comes from innovative companies offering product variety and educational information. One of the biggest trends is that retailers have expanded their offerings in store, and that has driven an increase in basket rings. “The growth in shelf space allocated to sexual wellness devices lifted the entire planogram,” said Alan Cooper, vice president of food, drug and mass sales at Las Vegas-based Trigg Laboratories. “There is a halo effect, especially for personal lubricants. Someone buys a toy for $30, and they spend an extra $10 or $15 to pick up personal lubricant.” Another important trend is major retailers have improved the product presentations on their websites and apps, providing all the information consumers desire to make informed product selections. “With richer, better-quality content available on digital to explain the health and performance benefits of a pure silicone personal lubricant, there has been an

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Condoms are regarded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as Class II medical devices, a designation that also includes pregnancy tests and powered wheelchairs.

increase in the number of customers stepping up from basic water-based lube to premium products like Wet Platinum from the company’s luxury collection,” Cooper said. The increased shelf space points to another trend — that more women are buying the products. “It’s fantastic alone to see the dedicated aisle now encompassing the range of women’s sexual healthand-wellness needs in one place, but now we can see the shelf space is growing,” said Stephanie Trachtenberg, director of marketing and PR at New York City-based Satisfyer. “This proves that we are learning to meet women’s needs where they are.” Consumers are embracing a holistic approach to health and wellness, and sexual pleasure is now part of a lifestyle. “This is an important message we are continuing to deliver through our marketing and PR efforts,” Trachtenberg said. “Incorporating sexual health into your routine may now look like complementing your Satisfyer with a facial mask just after to optimize the benefits of increased blood flow.” Many consumers were first-time purchasers of Satisfyer during the COVID-19 pandemic. As they learn about the benefits of the sex toys, they will seek the next new product. “This is where standout innovation will win,” Trachtenberg said.

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HEALTH: SEXUAL WELLNESS

The pandemic also boosted online sales, as consumers sought discreet and convenient purchasing options. “The pandemic has also played a role in the types of products consumers are seeking,” said Ken DeBaene, vice president of sales, Americas at LifeStyles. “Consumers are trying out new items and becoming savvier, making it easier to normalize the conversation and usher in more products that help them explore.”

“In pursuit of more interesting sexual experiences, we’re seeing a lot of growth and opportunity for the lubricant and device categories.” — Ken DeBaene, vice president of sales, Americas at LifeStyles

The South Eselin, N.J.-based LifeStyles makes the Skyn brand of condoms and sexual enhancement devices. According to the Skyn 2021 Sex & Intimacy Survey, 39% of respondents reported experiencing an increased sex drive since the start of the pandemic, and 38% of respondents said they were experimenting more in bed since the start of the pandemic. “In pursuit of more interesting sexual experiences, we’re seeing a lot of growth and opportunity for the lubricant and device categories,” DeBaene said. Another important consumer group is millennials, and Okamoto U.S.A. uses social media to reach them. “This is a young audience who already has access to highly sexualized imagery and messaging in media,” said Carol Carrozza, marketing manager at the Florham Park, N.J.-based company, which makes Wink condoms. “They don’t need that. They want honesty in their products.” They are establishing behaviors and patterns as they become mature adults, so they need information. Carrozza pointed out that condoms, used to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, are a Class II medical device regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. “We’re not talking about a silly little product here,” she said. The clean, straightforward packaging and the social media messaging focus on Wink’s thinness and strength. “We don’t believe in the hyperbole, the misdirection. We give them the basic features and benefits in a clear, direct way.” dsn

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Satisfyer Finger Vibes

SRP: $19.95 Designed to seamlessly work as an intuitive extension of the user’s own touch, Satisfyer’s new finger vibes have an ergonomic easy-touse design and centralized vibration motor with flexible wings and 12 different programs. The products, made of body-friendly silicone, have a lithium-ion battery and a magnetic charging cable. The finger vibes are waterproof to the IPX7 standard.

Trigg Laboratories Wet Essential 95

SRP: $7.99 Wet Essential 95 is a premium personal lubricant made with 95% organic content. The ingredients are Oregon Tilth Certified Organic and are sourced from a sustainable supply chain. The lubricant is compatible with latex or polyisoprene condoms and is glycerin free and paraben free. Also available is a threepack of 1-oz. containers of the lubricants Wet Essential 95, Wet Platinum Pure Silicone and Wet Water-Based Flavored. The three-packs are designed for variety and new product trial while being suitable for travel, as the 1-oz. bottles are TSA-friendly.

LifeStyles Skyn Dual Ring SRP: $19.99

Skyn Caress

SRP: $39.99 Skyn, a brand from LifeStyles, is addressing consumer demand for new devices by adding several innovations to its portfolio. The most recent of these launches are Skyn Dual Ring, a vibrating ring designed for partnered pleasure, and Skyn Caress, a clitoral stimulator for partnered or solo play.

Okamoto Industries Wink Closer

SRP: $16.99 for 10-pack Okamoto Industries makes Wink condoms, which the company said are extremely thin and incredibly strong. The best seller is Closer, which are 0.04-mm thin, lubricated, latex condoms. They are soft, ultra sheer and triple tested to meet industry standards. Also available from Wink are Slider, Studded and Large condoms.

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NACDS ANNUAL MEETING

Product Showcase New product and service innovations for attendees to see at NACDS Annual The past couple of years may have looked different for the NACDS Annual Meeting, but that doesn’t mean participating companies haven’t been busy. Nonetheless, many attendees are anxious to gather again in person and showcase the innovations

their companies have been developing. Here are some of the participating companies and the exciting new products and services that attendees can expect to see at the trade association’s annual event, taking place April 23 to 26 at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla.

Lifelab Health Bausch + Lomb

Piping Rock

Bausch + Lomb

Dr. Reddy’s

Bungalow #12

Space #424

Founded in 1853, Bausch + Lomb is a global eye health business of Bausch Health Companies. The company says it’s dedicated to protecting and enhancing the gift of sight for millions of people around the world — from the moment of birth through every phase of life. Bausch + Lomb is headquartered in Vaughan, Ontario, with corporate offices in Bridgewater, N.J. The company offers a comprehensive line of more than 400 products, including contact lenses, lens care products, eye care products and over-the-counter products. At NACDS Annual this year, the company will be highlighting a long lineup of products, including PreserVision, Alaway, Soothe Eye Drops, Renu.com, Lumify eye drops, Biotrue and Ocuvite.

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories is an integrated pharmaceutical company committed to providing affordable and innovative medicines for healthier lives. Dr. Reddy’s offers a portfolio of products and services, including APIs, custom pharmaceutical services, generics, biosimilars and differentiated formulations. The company’s major therapeutic areas of focus are gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, diabetology, oncology, pain management and dermatology. Its major markets include the United States, India, Russia and Europe.

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Lifelab Health

distinct lineup of healthy and organic consumer products that are designed for consumers who want better options. Leveraging consumer research and focus group insight, Lifelab Health produces such offerings as organic honey-based cough and throat products or organic, GMO-free psyllium fiber and Black Elderberry Immune Support. The company was the first to formulate a dye- and sugar-free liquid gas relief product. Lifelab was also among the first to launch a black elderberrybased product intended to help users boost their immune systems and reduce the duration of cold and flu symptoms.

Piping Rock Space #620

Tent #510 Coconut Creek, Fla.-based Lifelab offers a

Piping Rock’s Nature’s Truth brand will debut a number of new products this

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+70%

of patients purchase the product recommended by their pharmacist*

*Pharmacy Times OTC Products Review Based on a survey of pharmacists who recommend branded vitamins and supplements.

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NACDS ANNUAL MEETING

Beauty By Imagination

Weleda Focus Consumer Healthcare

year. Nature’s Truth Melatonin 12 mg gummies, which come in a mixed berry flavor, are 100% drug free and deliver an extra strength dose of melatonin. Nature’s Truth Beet Root Gummies provide naturally occurring antioxidants from this nutrient-rich superfood, in strawberry flavored gummies. Made with natural flavors, each serving is equivalent to 6,000 mg of pure beetroot, plus 20 mg of black pepper extract for optimal absorption. They are vegan, non-GMO and free from gluten, dairy, artificial flavors and artificial sweeteners. Nature’s Truth Ceylon Cinnamon Gummies, which come in cinnamon latte flavor, are free of sugar and made only with natural flavors. Each serving delivers 2,000 mg of Ceylon cinnamon and is enhanced with 100 mcg per serving of chromium.

The European skin care brand behind the popular Skin Food line has launched a reformulated line of body lotions. The four vegan-friendly formulas are: Hydrating Body Lotion, Unscented Body Lotion, Pampering Body Lotion and Refreshing Body Lotion. The new formulas are fast absorbing and not sticky. Weleda has also launched three new plant-rich body washes in 6.8 fl. oz. to fit various moods. The Energy Shower Gel features an energizing scent of ginger, java lemongrass and cedarwood to get the day started. The Pamper Body Wash combines rose, jasmine and ylang ylang for a creamy formula to leave skin feeling supple and soft. Relax Body Wash, with scents of lavender, bergamot and vetiver, leaves skin feeling gently cleansed.

Weleda

Cabana #1

Focus Consumer Healthcare

Table #452 Since 1921, Weleda has been connecting people to nature through natural plantrich body and skin care, with many of its ingredients coming from its own 50 acres of biodynamic gardens in Germany. All Weleda products are free from parabens, phthalates, synthetic preservatives and synthetic fragrances, and are not tested on animals.

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Focus Consumer Healthcare has launched Herpecin L Pain Relief: a triple-action, maximum-strength cold sore treatment that numbs cold sore pain and itch with lidocaine, helps protect against infection, and helps prevent painful cracking of cold sore area. After a one-year exclusive with a leading retailer, this item will be available to all food, drug and mass retailers starting in August 2022. This

unique addition to the category will bring more relief to cold sore sufferers who need the immediate pain and itch relief of a lidocaine item for their cold sores.

Beauty By Imagination #522 The Planet Goody Palm Brush is made with recycled plastic and renewable bamboo fabric. In alignment with the Planet Goody line’s effort to make products that are kind to hair as well as the planet, the brush is made from plastic reclaimed from waterways that would otherwise lead out to the sea. The brush is ergonomically designed to comfortably fit in the palm of users’ hands and the flexible nylon bristles easily detangle wet or dry hair. The Pure + Clean Detangling Brush from Wet Brush takes hygiene to the next level with its innovative design that includes a removable cushion for easy cleaning. The bristles have an antimicrobial coating that is infused with Silver Ions to repel microbes, bacteria and other pathogens. The brush includes ultra-soft IntelliFlex bristles that glide through tangles with ease and prevent less damage to hair. An ergonomic handle makes the brush convenient for shower storage. Stretch Seeker from Twist by Ouidad is

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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3/28/22 9:18 PM


Introducing the Cardinal Health™

Counter Talk

Podcast

Inside talk for independent pharmacists Join us for engaging and enlightening conversations with pharmacists, industry experts and Cardinal Health leaders on the new Counter Talk™ Podcast, hosted by Jason Callori, a 22-year veteran working with independent pharmacies. Listen each month for inside perspectives on industry trends, best practices and the future of pharmacy — plus innovative services and solutions from the independent pharmacy experts at Cardinal Health.

— Jason Callori, Host Sr. Advisor, Marketing Operations Cardinal Health

Counter Talk™ Podcast with Pharmacy Podcast Network Listen and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform or cardinalhealth.com/Counter-Talk-DSN

© 2022 Cardinal Health. All Rights Reserved. CARDINAL HEALTH, the Cardinal Health LOGO and COUNTER TALK are trademarks of Cardinal Health and may be registered in the US and or in other countries. Patent cardinalhealth.com/patents. Lit. No. 1PD22-1904428 (03/2022)

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NACDS ANNUAL MEETING

Wahl

AmerisourceBergen Ascend Labs

another new product by the company, featuring a 3-in-1 styler that can be used as a primer, style or treatment on waves, curls and coils. The nourishing formula adds weight and moisture to minimize natural shrinkage while helping to elongate curls with the ideal amount of slip for the tightest of coils. Ingredients include almond oil, shea butter and marshmallow root and leaves out mineral oil, petrolatum, paraben, phthalates, silicones and harsh sulfates. It’s safe for color and chemically treated hair.

AmerisourceBergen For Conshohocken, Pa.-based AmerisourceBergen, a global healthcare company supporting pharmaceutical distribution services and solutions for manufacturers, pharmacies and providers, this past year has continued to reinforce the immense value community practices bring to the broader healthcare system. This is the contention of Rich Tremonte, executive vice president and president of customer operations, animal health, and community & specialty pharmacy at AmerisourceBergen. Tremonte shared that AB continues to expand the suite of digital solutions available to its community practice customers, which has enabled comprehensive home delivery services, telehealth capabilities and remote client communication,

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including touchless check-in, hands-free payment and more. “AmerisourceBergen prides themselves on being a trusted partner for customers, and the company will continue to evolve alongside them to best meet their needs and the needs of their patients,” he said.

Ascend Labs Booth #460 After several years of being relegated to only virtual meetings by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ascend Labs is looking forward to traveling. “Ascend is happy to be traveling again and attending important meetings in person,” said John Dillaway, executive vice president of Parsippany, N.J.-based Ascend Labs. “Ascend recently had a full crew at the ECRM meeting in Dallas and looks forward to seeing everyone in person at the upcoming NACDS Annual.” Ascend’s pipeline will be a prime topic for discussion as it anticipates a number of new product launches this year, including several “Day One” releases. These launches are in addition to recent approvals of Nebivolol and Tobramycin for inhalation, which are now available, Dillaway said. “With recently added manufacturing capacity, Ascend looks forward to serving your needs now and on into the future,” Dillaway said.

Cardinal Health Table #236 Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health’s Outcomes is a clinical technology platform that powers a nationwide pharmacy network to drive improved patient health outcomes. By combining Outcomes’ advanced technology and the strength of pharmacypatient relationships, Outcomes enables payers, pharma and pharmacies to help close gaps in health care and drive positive behavior change. According to Outcomes’ leaders, Brent Stutz and Lara Loveman, the Outcomes network connects pharma companies to patient populations at scale via the trusted patient-pharmacy relationship, and Outcomes’ digital messaging and pharmacist consultations can help deliver timely, relevant information to patients throughout their treatment journey.

Wahl Space #464 The Wahl Pro Series Metal Edition Clipper is wrapped in a metal armor and houses a pivot motor. Its double wall metal construction harnesses the motor’s power, minimizing sound and vibration. It also boasts self-sharpening blades and stainless steel reinforced attachment guards allowing for

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Organic Natural Fiber Products

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NEW LOOK

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Louis M. Machin: lmachin@lifelabhealth.com | (954) 801-7596

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a fast and precise haircutting experience. Other conveniences include soft no-slip finger grips and an industrial grade braided 8-ft. power cord. The Wahl Lithium Ion+ Power Cordless Massager features a rechargeable lithiumion battery with a seven-hour run time. Its percussion motor boasts up to 60 lbs. of force for a high-penetration massage that attacks muscle pain below the surface. Its variable intensity control, however, allows the user to customize the massage from powerful to gentle, and everything in between. Four attachment heads allow for further customization, including an innovative spine attachment that has two large nodes that simultaneously massage either side of the spine while avoiding sensitive vertebrae. The long economic handle makes it easy to treat large muscle groups or pinpointed problem areas that are hard to reach like the upper and lower back.

CoverMyMeds Space #636 New data from the recent 2022 Medication Access Report by Columbus, Ohio-based CoverMyMeds, which is part of McKesson, found that in the past year, 54% of pharmacists said they lack time to complete their job effectively

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— with 81% citing inadequate staffing and 73% citing time-consuming administrative tasks. With staffing shortages and a growing need for better data and automation at the pharmacy, many pharmacists feel stretched thin, the company said, noting that the report also highlights technology solutions that help improve pharmacy workflows by automating historically manual processes to drive efficiencies that better enable pharmacists to focus on patient care. Read the report to gain fresh insights through industry research, patient interviews and new survey data from patients, pharmacists and providers.

Tabula Rasa HealthCare Booth #560 Tabula Rasa HealthCare, based in Moorestown, N.J., provides data-driven technology and solutions that optimize patient engagement and medication adherence through a nationwide network of retail and independent pharmacies, and clinical contact centers. TRHC and its robust portfolio of divisions, including MedWise HealthCare, have a unique window into the world of pharmacy and healthcare optimization, the company said. Most recently, MedWise HealthCare

launched new pharmacy alert programs which identify, enroll and engage patients through multichannel communications and robust documentation capabilities.

lovate Umbrella #310 The Hydroxycut Gummies for Women are formulated to promote healthy hair, skin and nails, and metabolize carbs and fats. These stimulant-free gummies contain collagen, biotin and folic acid in addition to a scientifically researched key weight loss ingredient. The strawberry-flavored Hydroxycut Gummies for Women also contain vitamins and minerals to boost collagen production and immunity.

Alembic Bedminster, N.J.-based Alembic is introducing lacosamide tablets in dosage strengths of 50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg and 200 mg. The medication is the generic of UCB’s Vimpat tablets. It is indicated for the treatment of partial-onset seizures in patients aged one month old and older. Alembic’s lacosamide tablets come in 60-count bottles. This marks Alembic USA’s 92nd product launch since commencement of U.S. operations in October 2015. dsn

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REX AWARDS 2022: TECHNOLOGY AND AUTOMATION

Increasing Efficiencies Who are the luminaries of the technology and automation industry? By Sandra Levy

They are the companies that are continually innovating and enabling pharmacists to practice at the top of their license. They are increasing efficiencies so that pharmacists are free to provide a myriad of clinical services, and giving retailers an opportunity to help their customers and patients lead healthier lives. This month, Drug Store News recognizes the cream of the crop of the technology and automation industry with its Retail Excellence Awards - Technology and Automation. The winning companies were selected for their excellence in these highly unprecedented and fiercely competitive times. These are companies that are leaders in innovation and go the extra mile for their customers.

Adheris Health Burlington, Mass.-based Adheris Health, a MedAdvisor company, has been a pioneer and leader in direct-to-patient engagement in the United States for more than 30 years. “With an estimated annual cost from non optimized medication therapy of $528.4 billion and over 275,600 lives, we

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are committed to turning this distressing trend around by focusing on transforming and individualizing patient health-andwellness engagement by empowering people to live healthier,” said John Ciccio, president and CEO of Adheris Health. “We do this by supporting the patient at every point of care, when and how they need it; with their prescriber, be it in person or virtually; with their pharmacist; at home with direct mail; or anywhere with smart digital solutions.” Adheris Health provides the content, education, support, resources and information that help address the barriers of care, whether it be overcoming hectic lifestyles, a need for understanding therapy usage or lack of affordability. “We deliver individualized patient engagement plans to empower patients for a successful treatment journey and improve outcomes for both patients and key stakeholders, such as retailers, brands and payers,” Ciccio said. “We are able to amplify this vision on a large scale by leveraging the nation’s largest comprehensive network for patient and prescriber access, with direct access to 140,000 prescribers, 243 million patients, 2.3 billion prescriptions per year and 25,000 pharmacies.” Adheris Health recently launched two new, innovative solutions. The first solution is THRiV, an intelligent patient management platform that

uses real-time insights to quickly adapt to patient needs and continually adjusts their individualized engagement plan. It delivers powerful patient reach, predictive analytics and intelligent solutions to supercharge adherence. The company also launched a smart digital solution that enables retailers to directly engage patients wherever they are with important reminders, educational content and resources, such as financial assistance. Adheris Health’s differentiators include: • The ability to reach 50% of the U.S. population; • 165 million communications sent over the last five years; • Six U.S. patents for patient delivery systems; • 15.8 million prescription refills with its programs; • $3.2 billion in incremental revenue for its clients in the last 10 years; and • An average ROI of 7.1:1 with its programs.

EnlivenHealth Raleigh, N.C.-based EnlivenHealth is the retail pharmacy technology division of Omnicell, a global leader in medication management solutions and adherence tools for healthcare systems and pharmacies.

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REX AWARDS 2022: TECHNOLOGY AND AUTOMATION

“EnlivenHealth builds the most trusted and proven patient engagement, financial management and population health technology solutions that enable retail pharmacies to measurably improve the health of their patients while ensuring the longterm health of their business,” said Danny Sanchez, senior vice president and general manager of EnlivenHealth. Sanchez said that with the recent acquisitions of FDS Amplicare and MarkeTouch Media, EnlivenHealth now offers the industry’s most comprehensive suite of SaaS technology solutions that help retail pharmacies transform and thrive in the new era of digital-driven health care. He noted that more than 50,000 retail pharmacies nationwide deploy solutions from the combined EnlivenHealth/FDS Amplicare/MarkeTouch Media. “EnlivenHealth’s technology solutions help pharmacies to automate repetitive tasks and inefficient workflows, freeing up pharmacists to practice at the top of their license and provide high value clinical services that keep patients healthy and drive revenue growth and profitability,” Sanchez said. He pointed out that pharmacists are continually challenged by having to move back and forth between multiple technology platforms and disconnected systems to access critical technologies that help manage their clinical and business operations. To solve this problem, EnlivenHealth created Enliven360, a unified, integrated technology platform. Enliven360 gives pharmacy staff one convenient place to access all the solutions, tools and analytics they need to better engage patients, maximize financial results and deliver revenue-generating clinical services. Another major innovation from EnlivenHealth is its new Personalized Communications solution. This digital cloud-based technology allows pharmacists to strengthen patient engagement and enhance business results by creating a truly personalized and differentiated patient experience. Personalized Communications integrates all

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communication channels into one system, including conversational IVR for interactive inbound/outbound phone communications, SMS texting, chatbots and email. “Our Personal Communications solution is already helping to mitigate staffing shortages by reducing time-consuming administrative and operational tasks that take pharmacists away from vital patient care,” Sanchez said. “EnlivenHealth has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the past six months to bring together the industry’s leading pharmacy technology providers to provide its partners with the most comprehensive and advanced digital technology solutions.”

iA With more than 25 years in the pharmacy fulfillment business, Indianapolisbased iA has invented and developed a suite of leading-edge pharmacy automation and software solutions that are being deployed across the United States and around the world. “With hundreds of systems installed around the world, iA’s pharmacy fulfillment solutions have been implemented across many aspects of pharmacy, from the retail setting to mail order to military pharmacy,” said Marvin Richardson, CEO of iA. “iA has always been and will continue to be a leader in technology and forward-thinking solutions created specifically for pharmacy.” NEXiA, the company’s leading-edge suite of intelligent pharmacy fulfillment software, is the foundation of Pharmacy Fulfillment by iA. “It connects many aspects of the prescription fulfillment process — from prescription acceptance at the pharmacy to delivery across many different touchpoints,” Richardson said. “NEXiA works with pharmacy providers to identify their optimal fulfillment strategy while also enabling them to lower inventory storage needs within the pharmacy. This is informed by NEXiA’s

analytics that monitor how prescriptions are being filled centrally.” Last year, iA also introduced SmartPod — iA’s next-generation robot that delivers innovative scale in a central fill pharmacy environment. SmartPod is iA’s breakthrough autofill unit with built-in modularity, allowing pharmacy providers to adjust and scale their centralized fulfillment solutions to meet demand. SmartPod is a fully contained robot using vial-filling technologies that allow iA customers to configure the SmartPod to add line items and expand pharmacy fulfillment across their pharmacy. “It’s a comprehensive solution, and we are proud to say that SmartPod is only available from iA,” Richardson said. “With pharmacists at the helm of iA, iA understands the unique challenges of the pharmacist and the industry at large. iA’s ability to serve pharmacy providers in a variety of volumes and settings with our solutions help pharmacists to redistribute their time to focus on providing value-added patient-facing care, including revenue-generating services such as immunizations, vaccinations, medication therapy management and consultations.”

Inmar Intelligence Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Inmar Intelligence has been a trusted partner for 40-plus years for pharmacies, health systems and pharmaceutical manufacturers. “We transform billions of dollars of transactions into valuable insights, which help our partners navigate the complex healthcare ecosystems,” said Rob Zomok,

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KNAPP Healthcare Solutions Digital Orders. Touchless Delivery. In today’s competitive environment KNAPP leads the industry; from manufacturing and wholesale distribution to our mail order, central fill, LTC, specialty and retail pharmacy systems it’s important to have an innovative partner with a history of success. Leveraging our expertise in micro-fulfillment centers, pharmacy and the latest regulatory compliance, KNAPP can deliver fully automated dispensing of medications for your patients with 24-7 access, hub and spoke distribution, digital integration and a touchless experience.

2,000 1.4 major installations

Installations in over

Over

More than

go-lives per week

100 1,500 experts

in the Healthcare business unit

software employees

24/7 365 24/7 365 days support, across 7 languages

1,200 retail pharmacies

KNAPP | 2124 Barrett Park Drive Suite 100 | Kennesaw | Georgia | 678-388-2880 | sales.us@knapp.com

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REX AWARDS 2022: TECHNOLOGY AND AUTOMATION

executive vice president and president of Inmar Intelligence’s Supplytech division. The company recently enhanced its Rx Analytics on Demand (Rx AoD) platform to deliver real-time business insights and metrics for multiple stakeholders across an organization. It can help uncover opportunities to improve contract compliance and oversight, as well as drug utilization trends, price optimization and patient affordability. Pointing out that Inmar Intelligence processes more than 1.5 billion pharmacy claims each year for over 20,000 pharmacies of all sizes, Zomok said, “We are able to benchmark across all market segments so that pharmacy leaders have the best information to make informed business decisions.” Rx AoD also allows pharmacies to compare financial performance against the market and identify opportunities for improving profitability, he said. “By using Rx AoD, a customer recently identified over $1 million in incremental revenue over three months through an adjustment in their usual and customary (U&C) claims. Another pharmacy avoided $15 million in losses by identifying the root cause of a payer contracting problem.” If that weren’t enough, Inmar Intelligence integrates into the drug lifecycle, extracting insights from a drug’s inception into the supply chain, prescription dispensing and reimbursement, all the way to the drug’s destruction. Additionally, the company’s Healthcare Cloud, powered by the DrugSync platform, layers technology over vast data assets to deliver business intelligence that bring greater transparency to the complex healthcare financial system, improve efficiency in pharmaceutical reverse logistics and provide tech-enabled services in the healthcare compliance market.

InStep Health For over 20 years, InStep Health, based in the greater Chicago area has offered platforms to connect pharmaceutical, OTC and

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CPG brands with patients and providers at every point in the health continuum. “We are recognized for services, including our media displays and digital billboards, HCP and point-of-care education kits, and industry data analysis services,” said Michael Byrnes, chief sales officer at InStep Health. InStep Health recently launched Navigator Ads, combining the reach and frequency of digital display advertising with the utility of an HCP provider directory. Based on the patient’s location and likely health condition, these ads dynamically generate provider listings, which offer click-to-call or other real-time appointment booking options directly from the ad unit. Alternate versions of Navigator Ads can focus on local education. These ads make healthcare brand messaging actionable and can be deployed with minimal setup time. “InStep Health offers the only fully integrated healthcare marketing platform that combines the power of tactile and digital activation programs with a proprietary network of over 250,000 HCPs, 177,000 offices and over 26,000 pharmacies nationwide. Our solutions emphasize sparking conversations between patients, pharmacists, physicians and other healthcare providers,” Byrnes said.

KNAPP Kennesaw, Ga.-based KNAPP is an internationally operating company that specializes in warehouse and pharmacy logistics and automation, with over 5,000 employees worldwide. As a solutions provider, KNAPP offers one-stop, customdesigned intralogistics solutions in health care, retail, apparel, food, manufacturing and e-commerce sectors. Founded in 1952 in Graz Austria, Healthcare Solutions is the company’s oldest vertical market and includes customers in pharma manufacturing, wholesale, mail, central fill, long-term care, specialty and retail pharmacy. KNAPP’s earliest centralized pharmacies were installed in the United States in 2003 and are running over 60,000 prescriptions a day. “We provide automation solutions for each healthcare market segment, but are known for more intelligent solutions with smart software, providing insight and predictive guidance for our customers,” said Brian Sullivan, senior systems sales manager of healthcare solutions for USA and

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REX AWARDS 2022: TECHNOLOGY AND AUTOMATION

Canada. “Our high-speed pill counters are very accurate and include the ability to detect broken pills, double counts and invalids while also handling translucent and dusty medications that challenge other technologies. Our mid-velocity KMeD dispensers are a technology of choice, applied in applications that address an expanded cluster of pharmacies’ formulary than other technologies, and our solutions typically provide an extremely low cost per script for our customers.” KNAPP is currently providing new micro central fill solutions that drive same-day deliveries to retail stores, but with the economies of a traditional central fill. “While the economics of lower cost per script and inventory optimization are often the first areas discussed, our customers are equally excited about the ability to use staff in more meaningful activities in the pharmacy, where pharmacists are then able to perform at the top of their license and technicians can work on broader clinical activities, all while delivering an incremental increase in revenue, as well as added revenue streams,” Sullivan said. He went on to say that a KNAPP pharmacy is more automated than other central pharmacy solutions. “Often, over 90% of patient orders can be dispensed, packed and sorted without human intervention. The KiSoft One Pharmacy Execution Suite provides predictive guidance through a sophisticated suite of applications, including KiSoft Analytics, KiSoft SCADA and redPILOT modules, resulting in more flexible and transparent pharmacy operations, proactive capabilities, and the ability to ensure that SLAs are met at the store and patient level. For the pharmacy personnel, this means less steps, faster problem resolution, less downtime and happier customers,” Sullivan said.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions The healthcare business of Alpharetta, Ga.- based LexisNexis Risk Solutions harnesses the power of data and advanced analytics to help healthcare

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organizations operate more efficiently and create healthier communities. “We leverage our one of kind repository of prescriber, identity, claims and social determinants of health data to deliver in-workflow solutions that help reduce risk, meet compliance requirements, increase patient engagement and improve health outcomes,” said Craig Ford, vice president of sales for pharmacy and enterprise strategic markets, health care business at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. Ford shared that the company’s pharmacy team has the privilege of working with all the top 10 retail pharmacies in America. “We take immense pride in serving them as a trusted advisor. These partnerships have enabled the ongoing development of risk mitigation and compliance-based solutions that support approximately 80% of every prescription dispensed. We empower pharmacists to make more efficient and confident choices by integrating the market’s largest, most accurate source of prescriber data into their workflow,” he said. One of LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ most recent innovations is its ability to combine disparate data sources, including social determinants of health data. By creating a unique identifier for patients and layering in more than 440 clinically validated social determinants of health, “we can give pharmacists a more accurate and complete picture of a patient’s health,” Ford said. “Whether its prescription validation using any of our identity verification solutions or looking at medication adherence based on our social determinants of health data, we provide pharmacists with the insights they need to make the best decisions possible.”

and long-term care with products to help them reduce medication errors while improving the efficiency of their dispensing. One of the earliest promoters of pharmacy automation in North America, Manrex and Crocus Medical have been on the forefront of introducing marketleading technologies to increase dispensing efficiency while improving safety. “All the products we promote are dedicated to helping pharmacists free up more time for patient care and counseling,” said John Webster, vice president of innovation and product development at Manrex. “We work with and represent companies from around the world in an effort to bring best-of-breed solutions to our clients. From pill counters, to multidose pouch packagers, to multidose blister packagers, to RFID Will Call cabinets, to Rx patient self-retrieval cabinets and advanced software to help manage a pharmacy’s drug inventories, we can help our pharmacist customers in a variety of areas within their businesses,” Webster said. Lastly, he pointed out that although the company is “not nearly as big as some of the larger technology providers, our focus on matching the pharmacy automation to the size, strategy and capabilities of the individual pharmacy itself ensures the solution not only improves their business but helps them maximize their customer relationships.”

Crocus Medical

OmniSYS

Manrex, based in Winnipeg in Manitoba,Canada, has been in business since 1973. Its sister company, Crocus Medical, based in Minneapolis, has been providing pharmacists involved in retail

OmniSYS is a Dallas-based technology company with 25-plus years of experience working with pharmacies, payers, providers and pharmaceutical manufacturers. “We leverage this unique market

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Your brand. Your target consumers. Your ideal healthcare providers.

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REX AWARDS 2022: TECHNOLOGY AND AUTOMATION

For example, OmniSYS recently helped several retail chains deploy a completely automated point-of-care testing solution by integrating data and workflow across numerous systems, including scheduling, clinical documentation, lab results, claims processing and patient communications. “OmniSYS helps pharmacies grow clinical revenue and positively impact health outcomes,” King said.

PioneerRx insight along with our pharmacy workflow expertise to deliver valuable solutions that help pharmacies thrive in the changing healthcare landscape,” said John King, president of OmniSYS. King said the company is best known for its expertise in the management and reimbursement of goods and services covered under the medical benefit within retail pharmacy. With a focus on clinical services enablement, OmniSYS offers a full suite of complementary technology solutions that help pharmacies serve as health hubs for their communities, including a patient-centric communications platform, an electronic billing-enabled health record, medical claims processing, a comprehensive immunization reporting and opportunity engine, and an automated solution to optimize U&C drug pricing. OmniSYS’s Strand-Rx is the pharmacy industry’s first electronic cloud-based, billing-enabled health record, bringing together key clinical, medical and health information into a longitudinal patient record, King said. Built on a highly secure, scalable and interoperable technology platform, Strand-Rx enables pharmacists to operate at the top of their license and pharmacies to profitably grow their clinical services business. “With over 30,000 pharmacies leveraging OmniSYS to support their operations, our expertise in data and workflow sets us apart in the industry,” King said.

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Irving, Texas-based PioneerRx is on a “mission to save and revitalize independent pharmacy,” said Marsha Bivins, marketing director at PioneerRx. Since its inception in 2008, the company has quickly grown from a family-owned operation to a powerhouse in the independent pharmacy software space. PioneerRx serves more than 5,000 pharmacies nationwide with the most innovative pharmacy management solutions on the market. “Features like Native Med Sync, eCare Plan Integrations and Vaccine Reporting give independent pharmacies the chance to do more and be more,” Bivins said. Most recently, PioneerRx launched Med Sync Prep Messaging. This new feature allows pharmacies to communicate with med sync patients, using a series of streamlined

questions from within PioneerRx. “Med Sync Prep Messaging not only increases convenience for pharmacies but it also improves engagement for patients, leading to better adherence and better outcomes,” Bivins said. PioneerRx offers weekly updates and improvements designed to increase speed, simplicity and consistency. “Updates are based on input from PioneerRx users or industry leaders and implemented to improve the lives of pharmacists everywhere. That’s because, for PioneerRx, it isn’t just about software. It’s about creating the best solutions in the industry and empowering pharmacy professionals everywhere,” Bivins said.

ScriptPro As the pioneer in the use of robotics in community pharmacies starting in 1994, Mission, Kan.-based ScriptPro is a leading pharmacy technology provider in the United States and around the world. The company develops, installs and supports a comprehensive portfolio of over 200 pharmacy automation and management system products.

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Pharmacy Clinical Services A Complete Solution for Pharmacies Looking to Scale Clinical Services

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REX AWARDS 2022: TECHNOLOGY AND AUTOMATION

“ScriptPro has brought to the retail market emerging technologies in vial filling, medication pouch packaging and fully automated will call,” said Mike Coughlin, CEO, president and founder of ScriptPro. “As a result, retail practice settings have been able to dramatically improve safety and the patient experience while creating sustainable growth and profitability.” Coughlin pointed out that community pharmacies are playing an even more critical and influential element in the healthcare landscape today. “ScriptPro understands this requires maximum help from automation and software technologies. Pharmacists need a dedicated electronic clinical care record-keeping system to manage and document prescribing processes and outcomes,” he said. To that end, ScriptPro developed Advanced Pharmacy Clinical Services, a web-based, patient-centric application structured as an extension of ScriptPro’s pharmacy management platform. APCS helps pharmacists document their decisions and actions to drive positive health outcomes. It integrates with ScriptPro’s workflow automation to provide immediate accessibility to practice guidelines and reporting of documented events. “Outstanding patient care is at the heart of ScriptPro’s end-to-end solutions for pharmacists. ScriptPro products enable them to step up and excel in ways that are needed to offer the highest level of patient care,” Coughlin said.

STChealth Phoenix-based STChealth has been providing vaccine intelligence to partners in the healthcare ecosystem for more than 33 years. “STChealth works with clients throughout the United States and internationally to pursue a shared mission of eradicating vaccine-preventable disease through innovative software and service

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solutions,” said Billy Chow, chief pharmacy officer at STChealth. More than 60,000 immunization providers located throughout all 50 states leverage STChealth Clinical Services technology to validate patient immunization status, as well as capture and report patient immunization and laboratory test data to state and federal entities. Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 1 billion patient records have been reported through STChealth’s national provider network. This massive exchange of data was made possible through partnerships with the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state public health departments and community pharmacies across the nation. “Throughout its entire history, STChealth has worked alongside public health as a provider of Immunization Information System technology,” Chow said. “These public sector relationships allow STChealth to bridge the gap with private sector healthcare providers, including pharmacy, to create long-standing, meaningful partnerships between providers and public health organizations.” Chow also said, “While many in the healthcare ecosystem recognize the risk that vaccine hesitancy poses to public health, few are taking action like STChealth. Leveraging the billions of data points that run through STChealth systems, ongoing research and analysis is being done to help immunization providers make better decisions about enabling access in addition to when and how to communicate with vaccine-hesitant patients.”

Surescripts “Pharmacy is an integral part of Arlington, Va.-based Surescripts’ past, present and future,” said Ken Whittemore Jr., vice president of pharmacy and regulatory affairs at Surescripts. The company’s history began in 2001 when two national pharmacy associations came together to form SureScript Systems, enabling e-prescribing as a

replacement for traditional paper, telephone and fax prescriptions. That same year, three of the largest pharmacy benefit managers formed RxHub to connect payers and providers. These competing organizations merged in 2008 to form the alliance known as Surescripts. Today, the Surescripts Network Alliance connects nearly all pharmacies, prescribers, electronic health record vendors and pharmacy benefit managers, plus health plans, long-term and postacute care organizations, hubs, and specialty pharmacy organizations to simplify the way health intelligence is shared. “We work to deliver the right information for the right purpose at the right time, all while maintaining the highest standards for network access, security and performance,” Whittemore said. “The trusted insights we deliver to pharmacies empower pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, in turn transforming care for patients.” Surescripts solutions, such as Clinical Direct Messaging, Real-Time Prescription Benefit, RxChange — which allows pharmacists to recommend changes in prescriptions to prescribers — Specialty Medications Gateway and Specialty Patient Enrollment help make therapy management more accurate and efficient with direct connections between pharmacists, prescribers and payers. Reflecting on the fact that the last two years have been a period of virtually unprecedented challenges, during which pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have risen to the occasion, Whittemore said: “With a solid foundation of 20 years uniting the healthcare infrastructure, Surescripts remains committed to providing up-to-date, interoperable solutions that facilitate better experiences for pharmacy personnel and patients alike.” dsn

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Create more patient-centric care using SDOH data Leverage clinically validated social determinants of health data to predict your patients’ risk with increased precision.

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L AST WO R D

A Technology-Labor Balancing Act Retailers increasingly will need to develop new in-store approaches that weigh staffing versus automation By David Orgel

Self-checkout. Just Walk Out. Amazon Dash Cart. Robotics. Retail is abuzz with technologies that are transforming stores, and it’s going to impact a lot more than just checkouts. The use of new technologies is driven by advancing capabilities and the need to address labor shortages, even as retailers are vying to hire and retain associates in the midst of a talent crunch. So what’s ahead for food and drug retailers in light of these trends?

The Technology Future Self checkout built momentum during the pandemic, and a new generation of checkout technology solutions is gaining a higher profile. This includes Amazon’s Just Walk Out (cashierless checkout) and the Dash Cart (shopping cart that enables checkout). Just Walk Out recently found its way into the first Whole Foods Market, which is owned by Amazon. Gary Hawkins, CEO of the Center for Advancing Retail and Technology, or CART, uses the phrase “computer vision platforms” to describe the bigger picture of what lies ahead. He forecasted a growing use of AI and machinelearning solutions to address challenges ranging from out-of-stocks to reducing slip-and-fall hazards in aisles. And there’s more, he told me in an interview. Hawkins said automation will boost understanding of shopper traffic flows, which can be leveraged to create new scorecards that drive in-store performance in completely new ways.

Impacts on Staffing All of this has implications for staffing. Deloitte’s recently released 2022 Retail Industry Outlook surveyed industry executives across retail channels. It relayed in particular the perspectives of the “leaders” — designated as such based on their companies’ revenue growth, proportion of revenue from digital channels and confidence in their organization’s ability to execute on 2022 business strategy. “It may be difficult to imagine today, but more

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than half of leaders (versus 31% of laggards) believe that staff-free stores will be common within the next five years,” the report said. Deloitte’s Rod Sides, an author of the report and U.S. Retail, Wholesale and Distribution leader, told me the term “staff-free” was used in a general sense, so it could mean anything from staff reductions to the repurposing of staff to more relevant needs. David Orgel is an award-winning business journalist, industry expert and speaker. He is the principal of David Orgel Consulting.

There’s also an opportunity for employees who are freed up from operational tasks to increase roles in customer service and engagement.

New Roles for Employees What will happen to employees who may be displaced by retail technology? In the near term, at least, it seems there will be plenty for them to do. That’s because retailers are focusing on more in-store activities than ever, from in-store picking to curbside delivery, Sides pointed out. There’s also an opportunity for employees who are freed up from operational tasks to increase roles in customer service and engagement. The long term is harder to predict, given that a steady stream of new technologies likely will keep entering the retail space.

One Size Will Not Fit All The future balance between technology and staffing won’t be the same for all retailers. In verticals like food and drug, different models will rely on different strategies — and some will even require staff-intensive approaches. I can’t see how food retailers known for their signature perimeter departments, like bakery and deli, will succeed without strong customer service. I can’t imagine how pharmacies and clinics will continue to gain the trust of customers without their impressive lineup of healthcare professionals.

Let Customers Guide Strategies Ultimately, consumers will decide the outcomes. They will choose which in-store experiences are best, and these will probably rely on a mix of technology and associates. Retailers need to stay on top of this mix because it will be a moving target for quite some time. dsn

April 2022 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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