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Volume 42 No. 5

MAY 2020

Drug Store News May 2020

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MAY 2020

Supermarket Pharmacies P. 52

CELEBRATING THE FRONT-LINE WORKERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE DURING THE PANDEMIC

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Vol. 42 No. 5 DrugStoreNews.com

FEATURES 8

Industry News

18 HRG Future 50 A look at leading and innovative CPG products, powered by Hamacher Resource Group

38 CBD News New products and updates on the category

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42 Products to Watch 43 Selfcare Roadmap Insights Digestive health shopper insight powered by GMDC | Retail Tomorrow’s and HRG’s Selfcare Roadmap Insights tool

44 Cover Story: Heroes of the Industry

44

Shining a light on retail workers who have gone above and beyond to care for customers during the COVID-19 pandemic

COLUMNS 6 Editor’s Note 22 One-on-One with Abacus Health Products’ Perry Antelman

24 One-on-One with Mason Vitamins’ Chuck Tacl

26 One-on-One with The Compliance Team’s Sandra Canally

28 One-on-One with Mybite Vitamins’ Kate Jones

30 One-on-One with Piping Rock’s Kimberly Vigliante

32 One-on-One with Pharmacare US’ Art Rowe-Cerveny

34 One-on-One with Xlear’s Nathan Jones

36 One-on-One with Ascend Labs’ John Dillaway

74 Last Word with David Orgel Consulting’s David Orgel

PHARMACY 52 Supermarket Pharmacy How supermarket operators are turning to high-tech solutions to enable top-tier patient care

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HEALTH 62 Sleep and Snore Shoppers look for drug-free solutions to help get some zzs

65 Sleep and Snore Products

INSIDE BEAUTY 66 Rebuilding the Industry Beauty executives share insights on what the category will need to do to get back on track once the pandemic dies down

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SOCIAL Facebook.com/ DrugStoreNews

Twitter.com/ DrugStoreNews

DSN (ISSN 0191-7587) is published monthly 12 times a year by EnsembleIQ, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631. Subscription rates: Manufacturers, schools, libraries and all others allied to the field $119. Canadian subscribers $129. Foreign subscribers $225. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, IL, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to DSN, Circulation Fulfillment Director, P.O. Box 3200, Northbrook, IL 60065-3200. Canada Post: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608. Canada Returns to be sent to Bleuchip International, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. For change of address, six weeks notice to Drug Store News, P.O. Box 3200, Northbrook, IL 60065-3200 is requested. Give old and new address and zip code. If possible, enclose address portion from cover on previous issue. Subscription changes also may be emailed to drugstorenews@omeda.com, or call 847-564-1468. Vol. 42 No. 5, May 2020. Copyright © 2020 by EnsembleIQ. All rights reserved.

DRUGSTORENEWS.COM May 2020

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EDITOR’S NOTE

Sharing Our Gratitude Celebrating the workers who keep the industry going By Seth Mendelson

W

e could never have pulled this off without our employees stepping up and taking the initiative on their own.” That was what one official at a major chain told me in early May during a brief interview about how his operation was doing about two months into the coronavirus pandemic. “This is the first time I have come up for air,” he said. “And, I am talking to you because I want you to make sure the world knows Seth Mendelson what our employees did and are doing during this crisis. I Editor in Chief/ Associate Publisher am just so proud of all of them.” We are too. At Drug Store News, we think it is extremely important to honor the retail companies and individuals who allowed the rest of us to get food and medical supplies back to our homes in a timely fashion during the craziest period of most of our lives. The pandemic will come to an end and we will return to normal times. But, in the meantime, we think it is crucial that we recognize some of the many individuals who are making a difference in the retail world. As our cover story this month, DSN is highlighting some people who have gone out of their way to go the extra yard during this pandemic. They are just a few of the thousands and thousands of retail workers who kept going to work in the midst of a worldwide and national emergency, putting their own lives at risk to help the general public. While some retailers were eager to share individual names, almost everyone also quickly added that their entire workforce rose to the occasion. At least three chains declined to participate in this project, simply saying that they would prefer an article on their entire team. They are right, but it would be a logistical nightmare to pull off. So, instead we highlight these few and, at the same time, make it clear that they represent the many. Retail workers usually are not front and center. Before early March, we all took for granted that there would be a wide array of food and supplies on retail shelves. Only because of the work of these employees — and I should mention the people working at factories and the truckers — can the rest of us get through this crisis with our stomachs and our medicine cabinets full. So, from us to you: THANK YOU. dsn “

We think it is crucial that we recognize some of the many individuals who are making a difference in the retail world. As our cover story this month, DSN is highlighting some people who have gone out of their way to go the extra yard during this pandemic.

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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 /Associate Publisher Seth Mendelson (212) 756-5160, smendelson@ensembleiq.com EDITORIAL Managing Editor David Salazar (212) 756-5114, dsalazar@ensembleiq.com Senior Editor Sandra Levy (845) 893-9573, slevy@ensembleiq.com Desk Editor Maria Manliclic (212) 756-5093, mmanliclic@ensembleiq.com Online Editor Gisselle Gaitan (212) 756-5138, ggaitan@ensembleiq.com SALES & BUSINESS Northeast Manager Alex Tomas (212) 756-5155, atomas@ensembleiq.com Regional Manager Steven Werner (312) 961-7162 swerner@ensembleiq.com Production Manager Jackie Batson (224) 632-8183, jbatson@ensembleiq.com

PROJECT MANAGEMENT/PRODUCTION/ART Vice President, Production Derek Estey (877) 687-7321 x 1004, destey@ensembleiq.com Creative Director Colette Magliaro cmagliaro@ensembleiq.com CUSTOMER SERVICE Having a problem with your subscription? Send us full details with the mailing label of the last copy you received, along with your telephone number. Write to: Circulation Fulfillment Director, Drug Store News, P.O. Box 3200 Northbrook, IL 60065-3200; email drugstorenews@omeda.com; or call (847) 564-1468 CIRCULATION LIST MANAGER Elizabeth Jackson MeritDirect (847) 492-1350 x 318. REPRINTS PARS International, LF-Reprints@parsintl.com, (212) 221-9595 x435, tinyurl.com/LF-reprints. Single copy price is $20 for a regular issue and $100 for a statistical issue. PERMISSIONS For permission to reuse material from Drug Store News/DSN (ISSN 0191-7587) please access www.copyright.com or contact the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC), 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 646-2600, (855) 239-3415. CCC is a not-for-profit organization that provides licenses and registration for a variety of uses.

CORPORATE OFFICERS Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Litterick Chief Financial Officer Jane Volland Chief Innovation Officer Tanner Van Dusen Chief Human Resources Officer Ann Jadown Executive Vice President, Events & Conferences Ed Several Senior Vice President, Content Joe Torrito

May 2020 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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We stand together

Amneal salutes the many pharmacists who are working tirelessly

working to make healthy possible again

in the battle against COVID-19. We stand together in our shared mission of helping patients access the medicines they need during these challenging times. Although the jobs we do are very different, our commitment remains steadfast. Amneal continues working 24/7 to manufacture and deliver quality and affordable medicines so we can help the people who need them the most.

amneal.com Copyright Š 2020 Amneal Pharmaceuticals. All Rights Reserved. AMN-DSN 05.20

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Midol Gets a Makeover

Welly Expands to 10K New Shelves Welly is celebrating its first birthday with a big expansion of availability. The Minneapolis-based company is bringing its signature purposeful and playful first-aid products to an additional 10,000 stores, including Meijer, Hy-Vee, Giant Eagle and Stop & Shop, as well as on Amazon. “Welly is delivering an elevated, yet really practical solution to first aid that was missing in this category. We’re changing the way people view the category, from a need-based purchase to something you can get excited to buy and show off,” Welly co-founder Eric Ryan said. “We are tapping into the consumer’s lifestyle today — one that is active and looking for beauty in everyday items.” In addition, Welly is launching several new items, including: l A “Color Wash” that features a tie-dye design; l The “Peculiar Pets” design that includes llamas, narwhals and sloths; l An “Eye Love U” pattern that features hearts; l A Remedy Kit with an assortment of medicines for children and adults; and l An Adventure Kit, containing a tin full of premium bandages with bold patterns and ointment packets. “As a new brand, coming up on our first birthday, we are seeing that people who were otherwise unfamiliar with us are discovering the quality of our products, the portability and reusability of our tins, and coming back to try our flex fabric bandages and first aid kits,” Welly co-founder and CEO Doug Stukenborg said. “This retail expansion will increase the accessibility of Welly’s products and help new and old fans of the brand live their lives to the fullest knowing Welly has their backs.”

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Midol is rebranding with a new look and new mantra, hoping to resonate with consumers by bringing the brand’s values to the forefront. Using the slogan “Live Life M-Powered,” officials at the Bayer Consumer Health U.S. brand said they want to give women the right to live period days just as freely as non-period days. The relaunch will include a new go-to-market strategy, including new packaging, a national digital campaign, and retailer activations in store and on e-commerce. Officials of the Whippany, N.J.-based company said that the average woman spends 50 days a year treating period-related symptoms, but few treat them with a period-specific product that can provide multi-symptom relief of cramps, bloating, fatigue, headache and backache. The new strategy will help educate women to not have to survive their monthly period, they said. Rather, they can thrive every day of the month by taking care of their annoying period symptoms. Most women have said that their period symptoms prevent them from daily activities like going to work or going to the gym, even preventing them from spending time with friends and family. “Having a deep understanding of who she is and what she is going through has enabled us to reinvent our brand to speak directly to her needs before, during and after her period,” said Lisa Tecklenburg, vice president/general manager of Bayer Consumer Health. “We want women to celebrate being a woman, and that includes the week she has her period because it is a sign of how amazing she is and of all the amazing things she can accomplish as a woman.”

May 2020 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Q&A: Rusty Field, president and CEO, Upsher-Smith Labs

Rusty Field, president and CEO of Upsher-Smith Labs, has been busy. As he navigates the Maple Grove, Minn.-based company through the coronavirus pandemic, he spoke to Drug Store News about how the company is operating, and its efforts to stay on track with its portfolio of products. Drug Store News: How are you operating in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic? RF: As an essential business, we continue to function “normally” in a dynamic environment. Upsher-Smith employees who are able to work remotely have been required to do so, and individuals in critical business functions continue to report to work, but are practicing recommended guidelines, such as social distancing, whenever possible. We also are increasing inventory on key products to ensure quality product supply to our customers and patients. In our brand business, the Upsher-Smith sales team maintains its relationships with our physician customers through remote communications. Fortunately, we have a long history of using virtual methods to engage and interact with physicians and their offices. Since the pandemic began, they have ramped up “virtual office visits” with healthcare professionals to ensure physical distancing and to offer physicians flexibility with their own schedules during these unprecedented times. DSN: What has been the impact of the pandemic on getting FDA approvals of your products? RF: We have not experienced any significant impact on FDA approvals or delays in communication from the agency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, we kicked off 2020 with the launch of three new generic products: fluvoxamine maleate tablets, haloperidol tablets, and clonidine hydrochloride extended-release tablets. We expect to receive approval for others in the second half of the year. To date, our internal R&D projects are proceeding on track, with some minor delays due to reduced international transportation because of COVID-19 travel restrictions put in place by a number of countries. DSN: What do you want retailers to know now and for the immediate future? RF: Upsher-Smith has a long history of quality product supply and strong relationships with our customers. We are focused on the health and safety of our employees, and building up inventory on key products, so that we can continue to deliver a consistent, reliable supply to our customers. We remain committed to delivering quality manufacturing and packaging of our wide array of pharmaceutical products, so that our customers can continue to rely on us to receive critical medications even during these uncertain times.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Dr. Scholl’s Honors Essential Workers Dr. Scholl’s is walking the walk. The Parsippany, N.J.-based company has taken three steps, thus far, to get involved with coronavirus relief efforts. First, the chain donated more than $2 million in massaging gel work insoles to help more than 150,000 healthcare workers reduce muscle fatigue and absorb shock when standing on their feet all day. The company also is airing a national TV and digital campaign, entitled #WeStandWithYou, featuring an emotional montage with the closing copy, “To the nurses, doctors and everyone else standing between us and COVID-19…#WeStandWithYou.” Then, it launched large scale messages of gratitude that transformed the building adjacent to Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital in Manhattan on April 28 in honor of healthcare workers on the front lines of COVID-19. The giant tribute from Dr. Scholl’s Footcare & Insoles was the first of three planned installations illuminating the New York skyline, with additional tributes scheduled at NYC Health

+ Hospitals/Woodhull in North Brooklyn and another New York hospital in the days ahead. “The Dr. Scholl’s Footcare & Insoles brand from its beginning has existed to be a comfort and support to healthcare workers,” said Craig Stevenson, the CEO of Scholl’s Wellness. “Now, more than ever, we feel it’s important to show our appreciation for those essential workers who are on the front lines of this crisis by providing them with some comfort as they stand in battle on our behalf.” Stevenson didn’t limit his praise just to healthcare workers, though. “It is amazing to me what these retail workers are doing,” Stevenson said. “These jobs have essentially been in the background. Now they are in the front lines doing yeoman’s work and some great attitudes. We want to thank the front-line healthcare workers and we want to thank the retailers too, and how they are responding to this crisis.”

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INDUSTRY NEWS

High Noon Intros Lime, Peach Flavors to Hard Seltzer Line High Noon Hard Seltzer is adding two new flavors meant to get taste buds buzzing. The Modesto, Calif.-based company is introducing peach and lime flavors to its hard seltzer offerings, and launching a new partnership with Barstool Sports in coordination with the new product rollout. Lime currently sits as the No. 3 flavor in the hard seltzer category, while peach is the leading vodka flavor, but missing from most of the category, the company said. “The consumer response to High Noon has been off the charts, and we continue to strengthen our portfolio to solidify our position within the category, capitalizing on key consumer trends and flavor gaps across key category flavors. While the summer season won’t be the same this year, we know consumers will love the new flavors,” said Britt West, vice president and general manager at E. & J. Gallo Winery. As part of its partnership with Barstool Sports, High Noon will be integrated across a variety of the media platform’s flagship programs and personally supported by Dave Portnoy, the president of Barstool Sports, and CEO Erika Nardini. Seltzers crafted by High Noon contain real vodka, fruit juice and only 100 calories. They are free of added sugar and gluten, the company said. Shoppers can find High Noon Hard Seltzers in packs of four that retail for $9.99, packs of eight for $18.99, 12-packs for $27.99, and single cans for $2.50.

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Project Sunscreen Rolls Out to Ulta Beauty, Stop & Shop Project Sunscreen’s line of products is hitting two major retailers. The California-based, Aussie-inspired sunscreen brand will be available at Ulta Beauty and Stop & Shop. Project Sunscreen’s Kids, Baby and For All lines are rolling out to the beauty retailer’s site and stores, as well as to 335 Stop & Shop doors. Exclusive to Ulta will be the Project Sunscreen Festival SPF 40 SKU, which features original labels and was inspired by summer events and outdoor celebrations. “Our new Ulta collection is the ‘next generation’ of Project Sunscreen, complete with our distinguishable bright labels, distinctive roller ball bottle, and cap toppers to keep your Project Sunscreen right at your fingertips,” said Project Sunscreen co-founder and CEO Rachel Henderson. “Like our popular kids’ and baby sunscreens, these lines for teens and adults are filled with the same, gentle ingredients to help protect against the drying effects of the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays.” Project Sunscreen products are reef-safe, ocean friendly and formulated from 100% mineral active ingredients as naturally derived zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, the company said. Free of such harsh chemicals as oxybenzone and octinoxate, as well as fragrances, dyes, parabens and PABAs, the brand’s products follow measures of the safe sunscreen legislation passed in Hawaii and Key West, Fla. “When we set out to create Project Sunscreen, it was essential to us to create something that was both good for your skin and good for the environment,” Henderson said.

Perrigo Approved to Sell Store-Brand Voltaren Arthritis Pain The Food and Drug Administration has given Perrigo the green light to produce a store-brand arthritis pain reliever that’s comparable to Voltaren. The diclofenac sodium topical gel 1% is over the counter for nonprescription use through the company’s prescription Rx-toOTC switch process and will be marketed under the retailer’s private brand as an alternative to GSK Consumer Healthcare’s Voltaren Arthritis Pain. Perrigo’s store-brand option will launch later this year.

“This product approval and upcoming launch demonstrates the power and versatility of Perrigo’s OTC self-care platform,” said CEO Murray Kessler. “The exceptional expertise demonstrated by our regulatory affairs team was evidenced through their impressive execution and record time in filing our submission and ultimately receiving approval. Our ability to successfully drive Rx-to-OTC switches differentiates Perrigo in the market place and is a perfect example of the Perrigo Advantage.”

May 2020 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Finishing Touch Flawless’ Nu Razor Simplifies Shaving Finishing Touch Flawless is looking to simplify the art of shaving for consumers with the launch of its newest hair removal device — Flawless Nu Razor. Created to help remove unwanted leg and body hair in a painlessly instant manner, the product can be used without taking a shower. It also aims to eliminate nicks, cuts or irritation caused by traditional shaving, the company said. “First, the razor’s patented head boasts more than 200 facets of hair removal precision and is arguably the most advanced razor in the world today,” brand manager Hayley Parisi said. “More important, it was created just for women — especially busy women.” The Finishing Touch Flawless Nu Razor, which features the brand’s 18-karat goldplated head, is dermatologist approved and hypoallergenic, the company said. “We were inspired to improve upon our mothers’ razors, which have been the same for decades,” Christina Black, Finishing Touch Flawless’ vice president and beauty advisor, said. “A typical razor is a scary tool, with concerns about nicks and cuts. With Nu Razor, those concerns go out the window. Plus, when used with the SensaGuard, you can even use the device in sensitive areas. Women and girls as young as 13 are now able to safely and immediately remove hair without the potential harm of traditional razors.” The Finishing Touch Flawless Nu Razor is rechargeable, comes with a USB charging cord, retails for $39.99, and can be found on NuRazor.com and at Walmart.

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Gerber Adds A2 Infant, Toddler Milk Offerings Gerber is making its two new A2 milk innovations — Gerber Good Start A2 Infant Formula and Good Start A2 Toddler Drink — available to consumers. Containing a combination of easy-to-digest A2 milk, the probiotic L. reuteri and the prebiotic 2’-FL HMO, both products were designed to help give infants and toddlers advanced digestive support, the company said. “At Gerber, we’re continuously evolving our product line to introduce new innovations like our A2 infant formula and toddler drink to meet the unique needs of your little one,” Gao Dan, business executive of infant formula at Gerber, said. “Until now, an A2 infant formula had not been available in the U.S. market. Given its popularity in places like Australia and China, we are thrilled to respond to the call from parents to bring an A2 infant formula to the U.S. and introduce a first-of-its-kind A2 toddler drink.” In addition, Gerber partnered with Cayuga Milk Ingredients and its family-owned dairy farms in the Finger Lakes region of New York to source the A2 milk used in the formulas, the Arlington, Va.-based company said. “These products were formulated with a unique combination of milk with A2B-casein, HMO and probiotics to promote gut health in infants and children,” pediatric gastroenterologist and Gerber medical director Joel Lim said. “The infant formula contains a protein blend of whey and casein in a 70:30 ratio similar to breast milk. The probiotic L. reuteri and the prebiotic 2’-FL HMO, which is structurally identical to the predominant HMO in breast milk found in both the formula and toddler drink, together support gut barrier function, digestive health and the developing immune system.” Gerber’s Good Start A2 Infant Formula and Good Start A2 Toddler Drink are available on Amazon.com and at such retailers as Walmart, Walgreens, Giant Eagle, H-E-B, Hy-Vee, Kroger, Meijer and select Wakefern Food-owned retailers.

Amneal Launches Generic Butrans Patients with severe pain have a new generic treatment available. Amneal has released generic Butrans (buprenorphine transdermal system) in dosage strengths of 5 mcg/hr, 7.5 mcg/hr, 10 mcg/hr, 15 mcg/hr and 20 mcg/hr, following approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Butrans is indicated for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-theclock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. “Expanding our portfolio of complex generic drug products and providing patients access to affordable generic medicines will continue to set Amneal apart,” Amneal co-CEOs Chirag Patel and Chintu Patel said in a statement. “Buprenorphine represents the fifth complex product approval we have achieved in the last few months and demonstrates continued progress in our shift to commercialize more complex, high-value products. Our employees have demonstrated incredible resolve in helping us achieve these milestones during an unprecedented time.”

May 2020 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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FUTURE 50

Leading the Charge Hamacher Resource Group’s annual list highlights innovation and sales strength among CPGs

I

t isn’t easy to release forward-thinking products these days. Between brick-and-mortar and e-commerce, plus social media ads touting the latest cutting-edge product, many consumers would say they’ve seen it all. In spite of these challenges, CPG companies have not lost their edge. Quite the opposite, in fact. Innovation and novelty continue to keep consumers happy, and the category analysts at Waukesha, Wis.-based Hamacher Resource Group know this better than anyone.

Every year, the analysts take a look at sales and distribution of CPG products from the past year to identify offerings that are unique in their category or subcategory, as well as cutting-edge products that explore new forms, flavors and technologies. They also look at more robust versions of well-known products or a category mainstay’s expansion into additional categories — all to compile the Future 50 report. What follows are the 50 products that managed to distinguish themselves in a crowded marketplace. dsn

DSN FUTURE 50: TOP 2019 NEW ITEM LAUNCHES, POWERED BY HAMACHER RESOURCE GROUP* PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

MANUFACTURER

CATEGORY

SUBCATEGORY

LAUNCH DATE

1

Aspercreme with 4% Lidocaine Dry Spray (4 oz.)

Sanofi

Pain relief

External pain relief

January

2

Visine Allergy Eye Relief Multi-Action Drops (0.5 oz.)

Johnson & Johnson

Eye and ear care

Eye preparations

November

3

Refresh P.M. Lubricant Eye Ointment (0.12 oz.)

Allergan

Eye and ear care

Eye preparations

September

4

Baby Orajel Non-Medicated Cooling Gels for Teething, daytime and nighttime (0.36 oz.)

Church & Dwight

Baby care

Baby health, beauty and wellness

February

5

Biofreeze Menthol Pain Relief Patches, large (5 count)

Hygenic Corporation

Pain relief

External pain relief

April

6

Nexcare Max Hold Waterproof Bandages Knee & Elbow (6 count) and Assorted (40 count)

3M Consumer

First aid

Wound and surgical dressings

March

7

Sensodyne Pronamel Intensive Enamel Repair Toothpaste, extra fresh and clean mint flavors (3.4 oz.)

GSK Consumer Healthcare

Oral care

Toothpaste and treatments

February

8

Theraworx Relief for Joint Discomfort and Inflammation Foam (7.1 oz.)

Avadim Technologies

Pain relief

External pain relief

October

9

Refresh Lacri-Lubricant Eye Ointment (0.12 oz.)

Allergan

Eye and ear care

Eye preparations

September

10

Neosporin + Burn Relief Ointment (0.5 oz.)

Johnson & Johnson

First aid

Wound treatments and skin relief

February

11

Crest 3D White Whitening Therapy Toothpaste Deep Clean, invigorating mint flavor (4.1 oz.)

Procter & Gamble

Oral care

Toothpaste and treatments

January

12

Primatene Mist Bronchodilator (160 metered sprays)

Amphastar Cold and Pharmaceuticals allergy

Respiratory treatments

May

13

Icy Hot Lidocaine Dry Spray (4 oz.)

Sanofi

External pain relief

June

18

Pain relief

Photos provided by HRG

RANK

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FUTURE 50 DSN FUTURE 50: TOP 2019 NEW ITEM LAUNCHES, POWERED BY HAMACHER RESOURCE GROUP* RANK

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

MANUFACTURER

CATEGORY

SUBCATEGORY

LAUNCH DATE

14

Vagisil Scentsitive Scents Dry, peach blossom and white jasmine scents (2.6 oz.)

Combe

Feminine care

Feminine personal care

15

DripDrop ORS Dehydration Relief Fast Powder Stick 10 g, watermelon flavor (8 count)

DripDrop Hydration

Nutritional foods

Weight control and nutritional foods

August

16

Dulcolax Saline Laxative Liquid, mint and cherry flavors (12 oz.)

Sanofi

Digestive health

Laxatives

March

17

Omron Blood Pressure Monitor 3 Series Upper Arm BP7100 and Omron Blood Pressure Monitor 5 Series Upper Arm BP7250

Omron

Diagnostics and daily living

Home diagnostics

October

18

Accu-Chek Guide Me Blood Glucose Monitoring System

Roche Diagnostics

Diabetes care

Blood glucose testing

August

19

Summer’s Eve Cleansing Wash (15 oz.) and Cleansing Cloths (16 count), blissful escape scent

Medtech Products

Feminine care

Feminine personal care

March

20

Zarbee’s Naturals Baby Complete Cough Syrup + Immune, natural berry flavor (2 oz.)

Zarbees

Baby care

Baby health, beauty and wellness

June

21

Compound W NitroFreeze Wart Removal System

Medtech Products

Foot care

Wart removers

22

Nicorette Nicotine Polacrilex Lozenges, coated ice mint flavor, 2 mg and 4 mg (20 count)

GSK Consumer Healthcare

Smoking deterrents

Smoking deterrents

23

Parodontax Complete Protection Toothpaste, pure fresh mint flavor (3.4 oz.)

GSK Consumer Healthcare

Oral care

Toothpaste and treatments

February

24

Airborne Elderberry Immune Support Supplement Gummies (60 count)

RB

Cold and allergy

Cough-cold, flu and sinus

December

25

Tums Ultra Strength 1000 Chewy Bites Cooling Sensation, fruit fusion (28 count)

GSK Consumer Healthcare

Digestive health

Stomach and nausea remedies

26

Debrox Swimmer’s Ear Drying Drops (1 oz.)

Medtech Products

Eye and ear care

Ear care

August

27

Skintimate Signature Scents Shave Gel, coconut delight scent (7 oz.)

Edgewell Personal Care

Shaving and grooming

Women’s shaving, hair removal and bleaches

January

28

Refresh Relieva PF Lubricant Eye Drops (0.33 oz.)

Allergan

Eye and ear care

Eye preparations

September

29

Gas-X Softgels Maximum Strength (30 count)

GSK Consumer Healthcare

Digestive health

Anti-gas

April

30

Mucinex Nightshift Cold & Flu Liquid (6 oz.)

RB

Cold and allergy

Cough-cold, flu and sinus

July

31

Motrin Children’s Ibuprofen Chewable Tablets 100 mg, grape flavor and dye free (24 count)

Johnson & Johnson

Pain relief

Children’s pain and fever relief

August

32

Aspercreme Warming Pain Relieving Gel (2.5 oz.) and Patches (5 count)

Sanofi

Pain relief

External pain relief

January

20

April

January April

April

May 2020 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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DSN FUTURE 50: TOP 2019 NEW ITEM LAUNCHES, POWERED BY HAMACHER RESOURCE GROUP* RANK

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

MANUFACTURER

CATEGORY

SUBCATEGORY

LAUNCH DATE

33

Biotene Dry Mouth Lozenges Sugar Free, refreshing mint flavor (27 count)

GSK Consumer Oral care Healthcare

Oral remedies

April

34

Gillette Skinguard Razor and Cartridges (2 count) and Gillette Skinguard Cartridges (4 count)

Procter & Gamble

Shaving and grooming

Men’s razors and refills

January

35

Vicks VapoPatches (5 count)

Procter & Gamble

Cold and allergy

Respiratory treatments

July

36

Tampax Pure 100% Organic Cotton Core Tampons, regular absorbency (16 count)

Procter & Gamble

Feminine care

Feminine protection

March

37

Astroglide X Premium Silicone Gel Personal Lubricant (3 oz.)

BioFilm

Family planning

Sexual health

December

38

Burt’s Bees Purely White Fluoride-Free Toothpaste, zen peppermint flavor (4.7 oz.)

Procter & Gamble

Oral care

Toothpaste and treatments

February

39

Ricola Cool Relief Sore Throat/Oral Anesthetic Drops, lemon frost flavor (19 count)

Ricola

Cold and allergy

Cough drops, sore throat relief

July

40

Theraworx Relief for Joint Discomfort and Inflammation Compression Knee Sleeve + Topical, large/extra large, and Theraworx Relief for Joint Discomfort and Inflammation Compression Glove + Topical Foam, small/medium

Avadim Technologies

Pain relief

External pain relief

October

41

Band-Aid Skin-Flex Adhesive Bandages, assorted sizes (60 count)

Johnson & Johnson

First aid

Wound and surgical dressings

February

42

pH-D Boric Acid Vaginal Suppositories

Vireo Systems

Feminine care

Feminine personal care

November

43

Burt’s Bees for Kids Fluoride-Free Toothpaste, fruit fusion flavor (4.2 oz.)

Procter & Gamble

Oral care

Children’s oral care

February

44

Schiff Neuriva Brain Performance Capsules Original

RB

Vitamins and dietary supplements

Specialty supplements

April

45

Oral-B Whitening Therapy Charcoal Toothbrush, medium

Procter & Gamble

Oral care

Toothbrushes

January

46

Sudafed PE Head Congestion + Pain Coated Caplets (20 count)

Johnson & Johnson

Cold and allergy

Cough-cold, flu and sinus

August

47

Vicks VapoShower Tablets (3 count)

Procter & Gamble

Cold and allergy

Respiratory treatments

July

48

Luden’s Melatonin Soothers Drops, honey lavendar flavor (30 count)

Medtech Products

Cold and allergy

Cough drops, sore throat relief

July

49

L’Oreal RevitaLift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum (1 oz.)

L’Oréal

Skin care

Facial moisturizers and treatments

November

50

Olly Sleep Gummies, blackberry zen flavor (50 count)

Olly

Vitamins and dietary supplements

Specialty supplements

May

*Rankings based on HRG’s proprietary star-rating system, measuring such key criteria as product innovation, promotional support, category growth, product orientation and earning potential.

DRUGSTORENEWS.COM May 2020

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5/11/20 1:44 PM


ONE-ON-ONE

Giving Back Abacus CEO discusses recent charitable efforts

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erry Antelman, CEO of Abacus Health Products, said his company’s decision to partner with the Arthritis Foundation will help consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking with Drug Store News, Antelman outlined his vision. Drug Store News: Tell us about Abacus Health Products. Perry Antelman: Abacus Health Products is a consumer healthcare company that combines CBD with active pharmaceutical ingredients to provide relief for those suffering from pain and various skin conditions. Prior to Abacus, I was the founder and CEO of a natural, dermatological, pharmaceutical company, which formulated, manufactured and marketed 100-plus OTC indications to millions of people all over the world. Upon learning of CBD in 2014, and its groundbreaking medicinal potential, I knew we could quickly leverage our experience excellence and regulatory know-how to propel Abacus in becoming a best-in-class CBD company. Fast forward to 2020, and we have a wide breadth of product offerings across three brands: CBDMedic, CBD Clinic and Harmony Hemp. CBDMedic, endorsed by three-time NFL Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski, is sold direct to the consumer across food, drug and mass. CBD Clinic is a professional strength line of pain relief topicals sold exclusively to healthcare practitioners. Harmony Hemp, which we recently acquired in February, brings to Abacus a complementary product line portfolio focusing on CBD and hemp bath products, which are also sold across food, drug and mass. DSN: Why did your brand, CBDMedic, choose to support the Arthritis Foundation? PA: As COVID-19 struck communities around the world, we quickly realized there was a need to shift our marketing efforts towards

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fundraising challenge on April 22 that was designed to entertain and raise money on behalf of the Arthritis Foundation. It featured a multidisciplinary cast of celebrities, including Rob Gronkowski, Sports Illustrated cover model Camille Kostek, “American Ninja Warrior” host and M.D. Matt Iseman, Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, James Beard Awardwinning chef Ming Tsai and more. During the event, celebrity participants faced off in various physical and mental challenges that provided a peek into their lives as they adjusted to a life of social isolation and quarantine.

Perry Antelman, CEO, Abacus Health Products

public service and outreach. In early March, the Arthritis Foundation reached out to Abacus and asked if we could assist with raising crisis funds for their severely at-risk, immunocompromised and often elderly community that has been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. We quickly answered this call to action, creating an innovative fundraising approach while activating celebrities across America. CBDMedic and the Arthritis Foundation share a common community, individuals living with pain. We are happy to play a small role in helping this community during this devastating time. DSN: CBDMedic recently held the Survive and Thrive: COVID-19 Celebrity Challenge to benefit the Arthritis Foundation. Can you tell us about that event? PA: The Survive and Thrive: COVID-19 Celebrity Challenge was a livestreamed

DSN: What was the guiding message of the livestreamed event? PA: We created this event to spread positivity and optimism during COVID-19. To show people all over the world that this is not just a time to survive, but an opportunity to thrive. Those that are suffering need to realize that they are not alone. The event was designed not only to entertain, but to inspire and motivate people to thrive; maybe learn that new hobby, read that new book, exercise, cook, create, and strive to be a better version of themselves. We believe the CBDMedic brand can help consumers on this journey. DSN: What’s next for Abacus and CBDMedic? PA: Abacus and CBDMedic will continue to trailblaze. We have exciting new initiatives in the pipeline across product innovation, marketing partnerships, international expansion and more. Wewillcontinuetofosterandeducateourcommunities on the advancements in cannabinoidbased sciences — ranging from our retail partners to healthcare practitioners to consumers. We wish you, your colleagues, families and loved ones the ability to walk away from this pandemic stronger than ever before. dsn

May 2020 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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ADVANCED PAIN RELIEF Powered by Nature

THE POWERFUL, FAST AND EFFECTIVE BRAND THAT’S ALSO TRUSTWORTHY AND SAFE CBDMEDIC offers a wide variety of different forms treating different need states

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ONE-ON-ONE

Logistics of Health How Mason Vitamins is ensuring products stay in stock

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DSN: What is your business implementing to help retailers and consumers? CT: Every customer will continue to receive our products, but there have been two to three week delays related to logistics or product availability. We have always had extremely strict quality protocols and, yes, even if third party raw material or final product testing takes an additional four to five days, we prefer to stay the course. We know that our clients appreciate our transparency.

huck Tacl, vice president of sales at Mason Vitamins, said that employees at the Miami Lakes, Fla.-based company are doing all they can to help maintain the supply chain and help retailers ensure products reach store shelves in a timely fashion. He spoke with Drug Store News about what the company is doing during these hectic times as retailers and consumers ask for more information about products they believe can help them stay as healthy as possible during the pandemic. Drug Store News: Tell us about your experience at Mason Vitamins, thus far, in regards to maintaining the supply chain with retailers during the crisis. Chuck Tacl: It has been a huge challenge for everyone, especially our employees. It is our people who make our company successful, and everyone has stayed committed to our parent company, Ito En’s, message of “customer first.” Many of our employees have volunteered to help and are offering assistance to fill certain roles, enabling us to serve our customers. Raw material and logistics price increases continue to be a challenge, but our focus is to serve the customer first.

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Chuck Tacl, vice president of sales, Mason Vitamins

“We are a very flexible and nimble company, so it is easy to support a retailer’s urgent needs.”

DSN: What are some of the ways that Mason Vitamins can help retailers? CT: While we may not be the prime vendor brand at many retailers’ vitamin planograms, due to supplier out of stocks, we have been able to assist as a temporary supplier. We are a very flexible and nimble company, so it is easy to support a retailer’s urgent needs with one of our complimentary items until their original vendor is back in stock. DSN: What do you suggest retailers develop specific to the vitamin category? CT: It is so important to continue to educate the consumer about the supplement category. With the recent trends, the category is growing significantly and trial and awareness of the supplement category is at an all-time high. Mason Vitamins created symptom category signage (i.e., women’s health, heart health, immune) over 18 years ago to educate the consumer. We discontinued immune a few years later because the consumer did not understand that health condition. As we are experiencing this pandemic, we brought back the immune category callout at shelf. This callout is resonating with the consumer, and we believe retailers and other brands will reevaluate their strategies due to recent category trends and get there, too. dsn

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ONE-ON-ONE

A Learning Opportunity The Compliance Team’s Canally conveys how COVID-19 offers potential to reimagine and improve processes

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andra Canally, founder and CEO of The Compliance Team, recognizes the role pharmacies are playing in helping consumers deal with the coronavirus pandemic. However, she said that pharmacies have long served consumers, and that will not change as the crisis fades. Drug Store News spoke with Canally about the state of the pharmacy industry and what needs to be done to stay ahead of the curve in the crucial months ahead. Drug Store News: How do you think the pandemic is impacting pharmacy? Sandra Canally: Pharmacies like just about every other business in the world have been impacted by the pandemic. What sets pharmacies apart from other businesses is that pharmacies are designated as essential and must remain open. We are seeing pharmacy owners and employees as heroes in their communities. They were going above and beyond long before there were guidelines for how to do business during the pandemic. I see the pandemic as making pharmacies better for the whole experience. They are helping to define the new way of doing business. DSN: What do pharmacists need to do to best serve their patients? SC: Whether during a pandemic or not, pharmacists need to always put the patient first. We are seeing evidence that they are consistently doing this, even when they are struggling financially. Currently during this pandemic, we are seeing a high percentage of retail altering the way they do business. For example, utilizing curbside pickup and home delivery in place of coming into the store. Those that maintain that retail model are utilizing social distancing, hand sanitizer,

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and the use of personal protective equipment. They are screening the patients prior to entering and/or using signage to direct patients.

Sandra Canally, founder and CEO, The Compliance Team

“We are seeing pharmacy owners and employees as heroes in their communities. They were going above and beyond long before there were guidelines for how to do business during the pandemic. They are helping to define a new way of doing business.”

DSN: The Compliance Team is conducting a weekly webinar to help educate the retail community. What are your goals with these virtual events? SC: Our goals in holding weekly webinars is, first of all, to let our providers know that we are here to respond to their questions. We let them know that our advisors and senior management are always available to respond to their issues. If we do not know the answers, we will do our best to get them. The webinars also allow us to convey the most recent information we have regarding accreditation and COVID19 response. These webinars are more about practical tips for day-to-day operation then accreditation. Please know that day-to-day is a reflection of what has been implemented by the accreditation process. DSN: How will the lessons that retailers have learned from the pandemic impact the future of pharmacy? SC: Pharmacies have had to respond quickly to dire situations in their communities, from implementing a delivery service where none previously existed to limiting the number of people in their stores at any given time, to dealing with sanitation of returned items. Not only will pharmacies — and all businesses — be better prepared for emergencies in the future, we see that accreditation standards are going to now include stricter requirements that will ensure the safety of patients and employees. What strikes me as most important are learning ways to reimagine a better way of doing things. dsn

May 2020 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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5/8/20 9:20 AM


Your choice of an accreditation organization is as important as the services you provide.

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As a fellow entrepreneur and the CEO of a company that accredits pharmacy providers, I know what matters most to you. First of all, your accreditation organization needs to understand exactly what it is that you do. Then, it needs to educate and give guidance to help you grow your business. That’s precisely what The Compliance Team does best. Make the right choice. Call me, Sandy Canally, CEO of The Compliance Team.

215-654-9110 g

@

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WEEKLY COVID-19

WEBINARS

To register, go to the CORONAVIRUS page on our website.

* S P

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ONE-ON-ONE

Taste of Innovation Mybite Vitamins president discusses the importance of forward-thinking retail

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DSN: Vitamin sales are quite strong at retail today. What do you recommend retailers do to maximize sales and profits? KJ: Innovation is the key to not only surprising and delighting consumers, but also accelerating overall category growth. By looking forward and tapping into new and innovative products, retailers can bring the excitement back to the vitamin aisle. Mybite is the brand set to delight new and existing vitamin takers by creating a moment of indulgence. With our delicious and sophisticated flavor combinations, we have created a guiltfree chocolatey bite that the category has never seen before. Mybite is redefining the vitamin experience.

ate Jones, president of Mybite Vitamins, said the Vancouver, Wash.-based company’s approach to taking vitamins is making it a fun experience. In conversation with Drug Store News, she stressed the importance for retailers to innovate to reach a larger number of consumers. Drug Store News: Tell us about Mybite Vitamins, and its status in the marketplace. Kate Jones: We are best known for our success with the creation of the gummy vitamin category. The line consists of multivitamins and wellness supplements that combine rich caramel, roasted peanuts and a whipped center all in a chocolatey bite. One Mybite is a full multivitamin with only 25 calories. It is a healthful indulgence that is good for you. But with decades of experience under our belt, we are not a typical start-up. Mybite hit the ground running in 2020 with the issuance of our patent and significant retail expansion to more than 20,000 doors, including Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS and other regional and national chains. We knew that the best option to produce our patented new delivery system was to own the process from start to finish. We also knew we wanted to keep the company local to our Pacific Northwest roots. Our current home is a $75 million high-tech Dupont building that had been empty for almost 20 years. We wanted to bring new jobs to the community, while revitalizing an existing building. By utilizing the high tech clean rooms, we ensure our quality is far and above any supplement factory out there. DSN: What is the company doing to stay in front of consumers in terms of products, packaging and other ventures? KJ: We wholeheartedly believe consumers should enjoy taking their vitamins, and

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Kate Jones, president, Mybite Vitamins

“Innovation is the key to not only surprising and delighting customers, but also accelerating category growth. By tapping into innovative products, retailers can bring excitment back to the vitamin aisle.” that’s why we’ve taken nutrients that are essential to health and combined them in a delicious chocolatey bite. Quality is at the core of everything we do at Mybite. We only accept the highest quality raw materials from select suppliers, who meet our rigorous qualification and validation standards. We also conduct extensive food safety risk assessments and hazard analysis for each supplier, raw material, manufacturing process and product.

DSN: What is Mybite doing to help retailers in terms of merchandising? KJ: We are an up-and-coming brand that knows CPGs need to work with retailers in this rapid convergence of traditional and digital merchandising, and help consumers navigate the multichannel shopping experiences. We support our retailers by building high impact, high visibility digital campaigns, but also support them at store level with visual merchandising. We value the relationship that we build with our partners and want to make sure they are just as successful. DSN: How is the company positioning itself for the future in terms of products and market share? KJ: Every successful business changes. It adapts and adjusts to market circumstances. It acquires, grows and evolves. It never stands still. Mybite is disrupting the vitamin world by offering a new, patented, delicious delivery system. Our 100,000-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art facility was built for growth and future capacity. dsn

May 2020 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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Mybite is redefining the vitamin aisle! Innovation is the key to not only surprising and delighting consumers, but also accelerating overall category growth. With our delicious and sophisticated flavor combinations we have created a guilt-free moment of indulgence that the category has never seen before!

No added preservatives | No artificial colors or favors | Gluten-free | Only 25 calories

Now in: Toll Free 833-469-2483 sales@mybitevitamins.com mybite.com #healthmadehappy

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ONE-ON-ONE

Pink is Powerful Piping Rock’s latest brand is a product and celebration of women in the workplace

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imberly Vigliante, senior vice president of wholesale sales and marketing at Piping Rock and a working mom of three young children, is excited about the company’s new Pink brand. She spoke with Drug Store News about the new purpose-driven brand. Drug Store News: Tell us about the Pink brand — what is it? Kimberly Vigliante: Pink is a new wellness brand developed by women for women with a cause. When I was given the opportunity to create this brand, it was about empowering the wellness of women and being able to give back to women’s charities. Luckily, I have a group of passionate women by my side who were eager to help. Inspired by our own experiences, it was important for us to develop high-quality supplements we would personally want to take every day. We wanted to bring products to market that were as dynamic as today’s woman, fitting her unique lifestyle needs with one brand she can trust. Empowering women is at the core of what we do, so in addition to creating vitamins that easily fit her lifestyle, we are committed to giving back to charities that support women’s causes. DSN: What makes this brand special to the trade and, of course, to consumers? KV: Pink is about real women creating products that they would want to take every day. Our focus is to provide simple solutions using trending ingredients, as well as core staples she can’t live without, such as melatonin, collagen and B12 to address her key needs. Created in the forms we know she’ll love because we love them too — delicious, naturally flavored gummies, fast dissolves, veggie capsules, and convenient single-serve packs. Pink will be her trusted source for high quality

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DSN: You mention that it is “developed by women for women.” Tell us about that. KV: We created this brand for women to help empower their daily lives — and who better to do that than women? Our team of passionate women brought this brand to life. Everything from the unique formulations to the custom design and packaging came from a true place of passion and inspiration. Women, including myself, are constantly on the go, often with the weight of the world on our backs. Pink is for every woman, everywhere — quality health-and-wellness products truly tailored for each woman’s needs that will work for her, so she can keep showing the world all that she can accomplish. Kimberly Vigliante, senior vice president of wholesale sales and marketing, Piping Rock

“When I was given the opportunity to create this brand, it was about empowering the wellness of women and being able to give back to women’s charities. Luckily, I have a group of passionate women by my side who were eager to help.” nutritional products that keep up with the demands of her daily life and the latest trends. All Pink products are non-GMO, gluten-free, and made without any artificial flavors. We’ve also created innovative packaging you won’t want to tuck away in the cabinet.

DSN: How are you getting retailers involved in the launch of the brand and your company’s charity initiatives? KV: We are grateful for our retailers because having the brand on shelf shows they support our end goal as much as we do — empowering women. But, of course, there is so much more to ensuring retailers have a successful launch. To help educate and engage with consumers pre-launch, we reinforced our brand message and our cause through various social media platforms with raw-relatable content, which we will continue to do. At the retail level, we developed Pink merchandising displays with our women’s wellness empowerment message to bring the brand to life at shelf. Partnering with retailers on promotional programs that also align with their corporate initiatives to give back to charities, in addition to our own, is something we are looking forward to. Part of what is great about Pink is that a portion of our sales is donated to women’s charities. We have carefully chosen nonprofit organizations to support and give back to the community, where we felt we can see an impact in helping to influence lives in a positive way. dsn

May 2020 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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ONE-ON-ONE

Immunity in Focus How consumer interest in prevention and ingredients is propelling the immunity space

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onsumers are no longer satisfied to get sick and suffer through an illness. The opportunity in the immunity space hasn’t been lost on Pharmacare US, whose Sambucol Black Elderberry products have become a well-known name in the immune support category. As consumers focus on their immune systems, they also are increasingly conscious of what type of products they are ingesting. To get a sense of what is driving the brand’s growth, how the company is navigating the pandemic, and what the future holds, Drug Store News spoke to vice president of marketing Art Rowe-Cerveny. Drug Store News: Tell us what you see happening right now in the mass retail industry in regards to the pandemic. Art Rowe-Cerveny: The mass rush of panic buying being over, consumers are having to evaluate what shopping means. So many behaviors have been forced to change, from less trips to all the different online mechanisms — click to brick, grocery delivery, etc. It is hard to know what will ever go back to any sense of normal and what will become the new normal. DSN: What has Pharmacare developed in terms of merchandising, marketing or new products to help? ARC: We’ve recently introduced our Elderberry Immune Drink Powder, which provides an easy way for people to get truly efficacious amounts of elderberry, with one serving providing the equivalent of 5.4 g of elderberry. Given the way people are going to have to look to take care of themselves in the coming months, and into the next coughcold season, this provides an easy and great tasting way to add immune support to your daily regimen.

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Art Rowe-Cerveny, vice president of marketing, Pharmacare US

“Obviously, people are more aware than ever of the need to keep your immune system in good shape, but they are also more concerned with what they are taking, and are putting more significance on resisting putting unnecessary medicines in their bodies.”

DSN: Your Sambucol brand has experienced tremendous growth over the last few months. Why is this happening? ARC: Obviously, people are more aware than ever of the need to keep your immune system in good shape, but they are also more concerned with what they are taking, and are putting more significance on resisting putting unnecessary medicines in their bodies. Sambucol Black Elderberry is a natural way to help support the immune system, using only the best of what nature has to offer. Utilizing premium elderberries grown in a specific region in Europe, where they have been cultivated for their deep purple color, Sambucol provides high anthocyanin and polyphenol content in great-tasting formats. DSN: What should retailers do to maximize sales and provide their customers with the best results? ARC: It is easy to try and jump on the bandwagon, seeing the growth we’ve had, but retailers need to know that not all elderberries are created equal. They need to make sure they are providing products, utilizing the right kind of elderberry in the right amounts. It takes a lot of elderberry to be effective! What we don’t want happening is a consumer coming in and finding a product with a less than appropriate amount of elderberry or worse, something that is “flavored with elderberry” for a label claim, and not seeing any benefit, and then we lose that customer from the category forever. DSN: What does the future hold? ARC: Not discounting the COVID-19 pandemic at all, but the future holds a lot of promise. We believe that elderberry will provide incremental growth to the immune category for the foreseeable future. Ultimately, we believe that elderberry will rival the branded vitamin C market in size, with Sambucol as a trusted brand leader. dsn

May 2020 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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ONE-ON-ONE

In the Xlear With upper respiratory health more important than ever, Xlear thinks it can help

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hat do chewing gum and ear infections have in common? You might think nothing, but 20 years ago, Xlear’s founder, Alonso Jones, looked at studies showing lower rates of ear infections among children using xylitol chewing gum and saw potential, especially given xylitol’s ability to reduce bacterial adhesion of common pathogens that cause upper respiratory infections. Now, company president Nathan Jones, Alonso’s son, told Drug Store News Xlear and education are vital to helping consumers get through the coronavirus pandemic and maintain upper respiratory health. Drug Store News: How can your products help during this crisis? Nathan Jones: This COVID-19 crisis is a respiratory crisis. Almost by definition that means that the problems are in the airway. Multiple papers have been published [that] point out that 90% of the viral load of this virus resides in the upper airway. If that is true then it is of extreme importance to make sure that we are doing everything we can to hydrate our upper airway, to do what we can to help it naturally and efficiently clean the air that we are breathing. Our mucous is a very important part of our natural defenses. It traps viruses, bacteria, allergens, and washes them away. If we use antihistamines, decongestants and steroids to dry up the mucous without anything to help keep that mucosal layer intact, then we are hobbling our defenses. Our mucous will become dry and cracked, and it exposes all the underlying tissue to the bacteria and viruses that we are breathing in. Traditional nasal sprays are all designed to dry out the airway. Xlear with xylitol is unique in that our goal is to thin out the mucous so that the body can more efficiently clean it away after it has trapped the pathogens.

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have a dry airway. While there is a lot of talk about the importance of dry mouth products that can hydrate the mouth, it is just as important or more important that they also talk about hydrating the airway.

Nathan Jones, president, Xlear

“Traditional nasal sprays are all designed to dry out the airway. Xlear with xylitol is unique in that our goal is to thin out the mucous so that the body can more efficiently clean it away after it has trapped pathogens.” DSN: What do you recommend retailers do to educate consumers about these products? NJ: Retailers should be pointing out to their customers that the purpose of the nose is to clean the air. If they are ever uncomfortable because of dryness, then they should be using something to moisturize their airway. If a person is taking drugs that cause dry mouth, chances are very high that they will also

DSN: What is Xlear doing to help educate both retailers and consumers? NJ: Our company philosophy is to do what we can to reduce the amount of drugs that are used and, at the same time, to provide solutions that are more effective and cheaper. Health care shouldn’t be expensive. So, what we have been doing for the past 20 years is getting out there trying to get physicians onboard with why xylitol is a much better option than saline. Using a hydrating ingredient at the same time as a decongestant or antihistamine, while it might sound counterproductive, is the best option for the customer. Any chronic airway issues that the customer might be having would be benefited with a xylitol nasal spray also. DSN: Tell us about some of your new products. NJ: Our new products that are now on the market and the ones that we are hoping to get out during the next 18 months are OTC nasal sprays that combine the use of decongestants, antihistamines and steroids with the xylitol. Many people have specific drugs that work best for them. We want to provide those needed drugs and provide them with the added benefits of xylitol. We want people that are using oxymetazoline and are happy with the results they get with it to start using the Xlear brand, which will not only give them the benefits of the oxymetazoline, but also the hydrating and cleaning effect of the xylitol. The Xlear 12 Hour product is our first combination of an OTC and xylitol, and we are looking at getting a few more options out within the next 18 months. dsn

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ONE-ON-ONE

On the Rise Ascend Labs charts future growth while creating the infrastructure to support its ambitious plans

A

scend Labs has been busy. The company has been focused on growing its portfolio of products, with a particular emphasis on underserved areas of the generics market, while also building out the capacity and leadership to support these efforts. DSN spoke to John Dillaway, executive vice president at the Parsippany, N.J.-based company, about how it is expanding while also navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Drug Store News: What type of products does Ascend Labs focus on to be successful? John Dillaway: Ascend has no specific therapeutic categories that we focus on. Rather, we look out four to five years to see what’s coming off patent and analyze those items based on our capabilities and ability to invest and choose items to develop that we feel will be a good match for us to successfully develop and gain approval on by the innovator patent expiration date. We have been making investments in infrastructure and talent that will enable us to be involved with more complex molecules and even biosimilars, which we believe will distinguish us in our space and further our efforts to hold a significant presence in our markets. DSN: Why is it crucial now to develop products that are underserved in the market? JD: There are several dynamics at play here. Over the past few years, many generic manufacturers have rationalized their product lines and cut back or discontinued many items that may have been overserved in the market or did not offer adequate return. Plus, as newer therapeutic treatments enter the market, older molecules lose traction and market share to the new. The results of this can be that some items that were overserved now become underserved.

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those orders to our distribution center for processing. We use an established third-party logistics company for this function and are in very close contact. For their part, they have all workers in receiving pick, pack and ship, continuing to report to work at the warehouse daily. Because we are dealing with medical supplies, the transportation companies are aware and giving us a priority response. Contacts with other transport companies also have been made in case illness does affect our primary carriers.

John Dillaway, executive vice president, Ascend Labs

We are also seeing now, with the advent of COVID-19, some older molecules, such as hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, all of a sudden thrust into national demand. Older molecules typically hold the advantage of being less expensive than newer ones for consumers and, in many cases, can be equally as therapeutically effective, so it’s important that these older products not be forgotten and be reviewed by manufacturers to ensure adequate availability. DSN: How are you operating in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic? JD: The virus has definitely had an impact on how we are working, but fortunately, so far it has not had a significant impact on our ability to work or keep our supply lines open. Ninety-nine percent of our incoming orders are done electronically, so we are able to send

DSN: How has Ascend enhanced its production capability recently? JD: Currently, Ascend markets over 55 molecules, accounting for over 175 SKU’s inclusive of all strengths and sizes, but, importantly, Ascend also has over 50 more molecules fully developed and awaiting approval. And with another 100 molecules behind that at various stages of development, how will we keep our commitment to stay in all these for our customers? The answer is increased capacity. And lots of it. Over the past 18 months, we have completed a doubling of capacity at our Damon facility in India. Two years ago, we would have told you we were producing about half a billion doses per month. Today, we are at over a billion doses a month. Additionally, we are well along toward opening what will be our third manufacturing campus in India in Indore, the other two being Damon, as mentioned, and Baddi. The Indore facility is expected online within the year and will double again our overall capacity to over 2 billion doses each month. This capacity is in addition to our U.S. facilities located in St. Louis, Mo., and Azusa, Calif. All told, we believe this infrastructure development will serve our needs over the next decade. dsn

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CBD NEWS

Tanasi ‘Concentrates’ on Water-Soluble Drink Offerings

Healist Hits Market with Wellness Aims New CBD brand Healist Advanced Naturals is hitting the market and positioning itself as a forward-thinking wellness brand. The New York-based company’s products, which are benefits focused and all-natural, feature organic, broadspectrum CBD. Healist Advanced Naturals’ initial product line is focused on four benefit areas — calm, relief, sleep and well-being. Products include tinctures, balms, lotions and chews. The company said its products are cruelty-free, non-GMO and THC-free. They also are packaged with sustainable materials, including ocean waste plastic. Healist said it’s targeting an expansion into brick-and-mortar stores by the end of the year. The brand was co-founded by marketing specialist Michael Bryce, who is global chief marketing officer, and serial entrepreneur Lisa Raggiri, who is serving as U.S. chief marketing officer. The two are eyeing a global launch and product expansions, while focusing on consumers’ needs. “In today’s technology and social media-driven era, companies need to focus on the power of customer experiences, and this means being truly omnichannel,” Raggiri said. “By having a presence not only online and through e-commerce platforms, but also in traditional brick-and-mortar stores, Healist is truly consumer focused and dedicated to reaching the masses — wherever they may be.” The company said it also is focused on transparency, triple testing its products, and posting results on its website of every product batch. “The combination of natural yet potent ingredients backed by science, rigorous testing, a commitment to sustainability, and a consumer-first mindset are what set us apart from those who have come before us and those who will follow,” Bryce said. “Our goal is to develop products that people believe in and that make them feel good, and we are excited for the chance to make a positive impact in people’s lives.” The founders said that because the launch comes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are planning to donate $1 for every order on its website in March, April and May to the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact fund, with a $5,000 minimum donation.

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GreenWay Herbal Products is bringing a new brand of full-spectrum, water-soluble hemp extract concentrate to the market. The Murfreesboro, Tenn.-based company has launched Tanasi, a line of water-soluble hemp extract drink concentrates that combines a patent-pending blend of CBD and CBDA. The company said that water-soluble CBD products can facilitate more effective absorption, rapid absorption, versatility, and the use of smaller doses than other CBD products. “Our water-soluble products are the best way to sip on CBD,” said Jeff Heeren, CEO of GreenWay Herbal Products. “When CBD is in a water-soluble form, it is effectively absorbed into the body, resulting in less waste. We are pleased to offer this new product, in addition to our array of other CBD products.” Tanasi’s product line includes 22 different products, from full-spectrum tinctures and capsules to lotions and salves, the watersoluble drink concentrates, and red Panax ginseng extract capsules. Products can be found on its website and at certain independent retailers.

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CBD NEWS

Medterra Debuts Benefits-Focused CBD Gummies Medterra is expanding its offerings with a line of functional CBD gummies. The Irvine, Calif.-based company is introducing three varieties of gummy vitamins, with each gummy combining 25 mg of CBD with premium, benefits-focused ingredients. The citrus-flavored Stay Alert Gummy includes CBD, ginkgo biloba, guarana and green tea extract. The Keep Calm Gummy, available in tropical fruit flavor, combines CBD and L-theanine, which is meant to help promote relaxation without drowsiness. Finally, Medterra’s Sleep Tight Gummy is a strawberry-flavored combo of CBD, melatonin, chamomile, 5HTP, lemon balm and passionflower. “After nine months of development, we are excited to raise the bar for CBD gummies,” said Medterra CEO and co-founder Jay Hartenbach. “With the highest CBD concentration on the market, our vegan-friendly gummies were designed to offer more than just the power of CBD. These gummies taste great and come without artificial flavors and high-fructose corn syrup.” The vegan gummies are sold on Medterra’s website in 30-count packages for $39.99. The company said it plans to roll out two- and five-count offerings for $4.99 and $9.99, respectively, to various retailers. The brand has been expanding recently, launching an OTC-registered pain cream and broad-spectrum tinctures to join its portfolio of CBD isolate tinctures, capsules, topicals and pet products. Medterra also has been giving back. In an effort to support front-line workers, the company is planning to donate some $300,000 worth (15,000 units) of its 15-ml pure CBD tinctures (250 mg) to healthcare professionals. It has created a dedicated site for medical workers to fill out and enter proof of their badge and shipping information.

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HFI’s Chews Combine Purple Corn, BroadSpectrum Cannabinoids Healthy Food Ingredients is marrying its Suntava Purple Corn with a THC-free, broad-spectrum cannabinoid distillate. The company has launched its Suntava Purple Soft Chews for private label or white label packaging. “I’m thrilled to bring this new on-trend product to the industry and offer samples, so our customers can experience the chews firsthand,” said Terry Howell, an expert at Healthy Food Ingredients. Each chew delivers 500 mg of purple corn extract powder and 11.8 mg of broadspectrum cannabinoid distillate. The chews, which are free of artificial flavors, colors and preservatives, come in a natural blueberry flavor with additional turmeric- and melatonin-containing options. Each chew is individually wrapped and available in bulk, pouches or canisters. The company said the chews are made using a cold-press process, preserving sensitive ingredients and creating a chew that doesn’t stick to teeth. “Our chews bring a unique offering to store shelves and websites, which stand out amongst gummies, tinctures and soft gels,” said Terry Howell, a Suntava Purple Corn expert at Healthy Food Ingredients. “Not only does our cold-press process set our chews apart from other products on the market, we are excited to offer this product incorporating THC-free hemp cannabinoid broad-spectrum distillate.”

May 2020 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

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PRODUCTS TO WATCH

New and Noteworthy Five standout products from April

s retail stood front and center as a key player in the COVID-19 response — and as a critical resource for consumers — Hamacher Resource Group’s new product team was evaluating new products that stand to help further expand retail’s value proposition. The company sorted through 162 new products, including 97 wellness products, 57 beauty products and eight OTC offerings, to highlight five that could provide a boon for retailers that stock them.

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3

Oral-B Mouth Sore Instant Pain Relief Gel

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Clearblue Early Detection Pregnancy Test

This recent Rx-to-OTC switch from Alcon is hitting stores just in time for allergy season. The once-daily product, sold in a 2.5-ml bottle, is formulated to relieve eye irritation from such allergens as pet dander, pollen, grass and ragweed.

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Joining the family planning aisle is a new offering from Procter & Gamble’s Clearblue brand that the company said can detect pregnancy as early as six days before a missed period. The two-count pack of pregnancy tests joins the rest of the Clearblue lineup.

2

Preparation H Soothing Relief Wipes

5

Triderma Psoriasis Control Shampoo

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May 2020 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

Pataday Once Daily Relief Eye Drop

Pfizer manages to consistently bring innovation to an established name in the digestive health category, and the latest offering from Preparation H is keeping with that strategy. Preparation H Soothing Relief Wipes are designed to soothe and cool discomfort caused by hemorrhoids. The flushable wipes, which are sold in 60-count packages, also are meant to be gentle enough for daily use.

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Procter & Gamble’s well-known oral care brand Oral-B is widening its scope. The brand’s Mouth Sore Instant Pain Relief gel contains maximum-strength benzocaine to help relieve pain from canker sores, cheek bites, braces and dentures, as well as oral and gum irritations. The product joins Oral-B’s mouth sore oral rinse as part of its mouth pain portfolio.

Beauty brand TriDerma’s Psoriasis Control Shampoo looks to relieve and help prevent the recurrence of itching, flaking and scaling. The product uses salicylic acid to address psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis, while also delivering on consumers’ free-from ingedient demands. The product is free of coal tar, parabens, cortisone, steroids, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum and phthalates. dsn

5/8/20 9:40 AM


SELFCARE ROADMAP INSIGHTS

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MDC | Retail Tomorrow and Hamacher Resource Group recently joined forces to bring to life the Selfcare Roadmap, a tool meant to identify opportunities, reveal how next practices can reshape the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, inspire new merchandising and service models, and provide impact across all aisles. The tool, which only is available to GMDC | Retail Tomorrow members, demonstrates how to optimize shoppers’ health, beauty, personal care and wellness experiences, as well as how to drive new avenues for profitability by offering more than 140 insights and infographics that can be sorted by category of self-care occasion. This month, the companies have shared insights with Drug Store News about the digestive health shopper.dsn

Digestive Health

NUMBER AFFLICTED

ACID INDIGESTION

CATEGORIES IN BASKET

Digestive Health

180M INDIVIDUALS

UNIT SALES OF BEAUTY ITEMS IN MARKET BASKET <1%

3%

Multicultural Beauty Care

Hair Accessories

5%

<1%

Sun Care

Fragrances

8%

1M Crohn’s 1M

3M

Celiac

Ulcerative Colitus

35M

Cosmetics

IBS

38%

14%

Skin Care

Shaving and Grooming

120M

Lactose Intolerance

16%

16%

Deodorants

Hair Care

Key insight: According to the American Key insight: Nine of the top 20 moving SKUs are for sensitive skin. The first- and third-best-selling products are sensitive skin shave creams.

Digestive Health

Nutrition Association, 70 million people suffer every day from some form of digestive issues (heartburn, acid reflux, GERD, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, etc.).

CONDITION INSIGHTS RETAIL PRICE COMPARISON Acid Neutralizer

Average Prices

HBW

Average Prices

Acid Reducer Average Prices

Acid Blocker

Average Prices

ACID RELIEF

$4.10 $4.18 $4.27

Jan 2017

$5.54 $5.64 $5.73

Jan 2018 Jan 2019 $8.99 $9.25 $9.49 $16.21 $15.94 $15.42

Key insight: The price of acid blockers continues to decline while the price of acid neutralizers and acid reducers are showing increases.

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COVER COVERSTORY STORY

CELEBRATING THE FRONT-LINE WORKERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE DURING THE PANDEMIC

T

he definition of a hero: A person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities.

That seems to fit perfectly for the thousands of retail workers, who have literally put their lives on the line to make sure consumers had access to the food and medical supplies they needed during the COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged not only this country, but most of the world. This may be remembered as retail’s

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finest moment. As worried consumers rushed to stores for everything from toilet paper to cough-cold products, not to mention their much-needed prescriptions, employees at mass retail chains across the country rose to the occasion. What did they do? For one thing, they showed up for work, leaving the safety of their homes and their families to make sure that the stores, distribution centers and other facilities they worked in were fully staffed. For another, many did more than was required of them,

working long hours stocking shelves and filling their warehouses, talking impatient and, at times, panicked customers off the ledge, and, sometimes just giving shoppers the correct information during a time of need. Drug Store News wishes we could interview them all. Obviously, we can’t. So instead, here are some exploits from our Retail Heroes. In the end, it is just a small example of what has gone on and is still going on at retail. Here’s what they’ve done:

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COVER STORY Melinda Dolack does not see

Two months ago, giving a

anything special in what she did for the entire month of April. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people in New York would probably disagree. Dolack, an APRN and the manager at Kroger’s Holiday Manor Little Clinic in Louisville, Ky., decided that she had to go to New York in late March to help out any way she could. So, along with a colleague from nursing Melinda Dolack, school, she applied to help, The Little Clinic, and both were accepted in Kroger, Louisville, Ky. just one day. On April 1, she took her first trip to the Big Apple, looking to help in any way she could. “We were not getting a lot of patients at the Little Clinic because people were afraid to come in,” she said from her home in Louisville, where, despite testing negative for the virus, she was still under quarantine. “So, we thought we could help elsewhere. We knew that New York was so short of nurses and pleading for help.” Dolack was placed at Bellevue Hospital, the oldest public hospital in the country and smack in the middle of Manhattan. She was placed with the infectious disease team and assigned, in part, to helping test for the COVID-19 virus. She also did countless other duties. Needless to say, it was at least 12-hour days, seven days a week. “We signed up for 21 days of 12-hour shifts and we were exhausted throughout the entire trip,” she said. “But, in the end, we extended our term for seven more days and did not get home until May 1.” Her job at Kroger will be waiting for her when she is out of isolation. “I would do it all over again,” she said. “It was totally exhausting, but extremely rewarding. I met amazing patients and amazing staffers, and every person I met in New York was just so gracious. I really don’t think I did anything exceptional. As a nurse, I was born and bred to help. I just did my normal job in another state of this country.” Will she go back to New York again? “We got a chance to visit Central Park and go to an empty Times Square,” she said. “I thought that Louisville had a big downtown, but New York just completely blows that away. I can’t wait to go back and see the city in all its splendor.”

customer a container of sanitizing wipes might not have been a memorable interaction. For J Gilliam, store manager at Walgreens store 7160 in Grandville, Mich., who gave a pack of wipes she had bought earlier that day to a woman caring for her husband recovering from a heart transplant, the small act of kindness made a big impact. That is par for the course J Gilliam, for workers on the front Walgreens, lines at Walgreens who had Grandville, Mich. to pivot quickly to support their communities in navigating the pandemic. Gilliam said that the institutional support from Walgreens, including hand sanitizing stations and allowing employees extra time to clean, among other policies, have enabled workers to be prepared to help customers. “A lot of people are just scared and being scared translates into emotion — sometimes into fighting in front of us, and sometimes crying,” Gilliam said. “And, we just have to be there to support them — sometimes just to listen, sometimes to make an accommodation.” Besides herself, Gilliam also said that she has seen other members of her team opt out of buying essential items that are set aside for employees in order to make them available to customers. In addition to helping customers get through the pandemic, Gilliam said that there has been a feeling of stronger camaraderie among store associates — something she said was palpable before she began her career with the chain five years ago, and has only grown stronger over the past months. “Before I even worked at Walgreens, I shopped at Walgreens, and employees talked about being a family, and people say that sometimes in businesses, but it has never been truer than right now because we’re with each other more than our families,” Gilliam said, noting that safety precautions prevent them from seeing extended families, but that the support of colleagues keep the staff going. “We may have a bad day, but the rest of the team lifts us up. And when we do that, that feeling — there is an indescribable something special about Walgreens team members, and I think it’s because they feel like a family, and we choose to lift each other up.” Gilliam said that in addition to in-store uplift, she also runs a

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COVER STORY Walgreens fan page on Facebook that has seen an outpouring of positivity, both from Walgreens employees and consumers. “Moments like this, whenever you’re in crisis, it can bring out the best or the worst in people,” Gilliam said. “And I’m so thankful that it brought out the best in Walgreens.”

As the coronavirus pandemic set in, New York City quickly became the domestic epicenter of the outbreak. As of May 2, the city had seen 170,534 confirmed cases of COVID19. Leading the city in terms of overall cases was the borough of Queens, with more than 52,000 cases, followed by Brooklyn with 45,341. For Rite Aid, the response in two of the city’s boroughs has been led by a 15-year company vetJennifer Brucculeri, eran and New Yorker who Rite Aid, is no stranger to navigating Brooklyn, N.Y. tough situations. Brooklyn native Jennifer Brucculeri, a regional pharmacy leader at Rite Aid who oversees 19 stores in Brooklyn and Staten Island, has played a key role in the retailer’s response in the two boroughs, ensuring that communities can still look to Rite Aid as a resource. A principal responsibility for doing so, she said, is managing personnel. “The biggest focus has been ensuring that my team is healthy and safe, and able to be at the pharmacy each day to service the community,” Brucculeri said. “We continue to take measures to help associates stay healthy, so we can be there for our customers and the communities, such as additional cleaning, sanitizing and providing personal protective equipment.” She said that a big part of doing so is working with colleagues, who are themselves seeing the impact of the pandemic — particularly among associates with children, who are now attending school remotely. The solution has been increased communication and cooperation to make sure schedules can work for associates. Though Brucculeri admits the job has been difficult given the sheer scope of the pandemic and its outsized impact on New York City, she said that she and her colleagues have helped New Yorkers navigate crises in the past, which has prepared them well. “As a healthcare professional, this is just part of the job,” Brucculeri

said. “This isn’t the first crisis I or my team has been through, and it’s not the first we’ve been through together. Many of my associates and I have actually worked through Superstorm Sandy together, as well.” “As a regional pharmacy leader, watching the amazing pharmacists that work for Rite Aid each day gives me the courage to get out there and join them,” she said. “We win through teamwork, and that makes us strong enough to be there for our patients through the most difficult times.” Ultimately, what she said drives her efforts — and Rite Aid’s response more broadly — has been ensuring that its stores, and its pharmacies in particular, are still a healthcare resource for its communities. “Pharmacists are the most easily accessed accessible healthcare professionals. And no matter what the crisis, we can’t allow that to change, and we need to be there,” she said. “People are used to coming to see us, and your local community pharmacist is always there for you and knows your needs because you’re seeing them very often throughout the year. When a mother of a 2-yearold girl walked into Safeway Pharmacy in Portland, Ore., to get an antibiotic for herself and her sick daughter during the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacist Purvi Patel was busy filling prescriptions. Yet, she took the time to look up and notice that the mom was extremely exhausted and could hardly walk. After filling the mom’s prescription, Patel found that the Purvi Patel, young child’s insurance had expired. Although Patel used Safeway Pharmacy, a prescription discount card to Portland, Ore. reduce the cost of her medicine

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COVER STORY to $14, the mother started to cry. She told Patel that she had lost her job a few days before, and only had $7. “That really hit me hard because I’m a mother of two boys. I felt so much of her pain,” Patel said. “We are in such a bad situation right now. She felt so hopeless.” Patel, who is working extra hours to increase her income because of the pandemic’s impact on her husband’s business, paid for the child’s medicine. She and the pharmacy’s technicians chipped in to buy a $25 gift card for the woman. Patel recalled that the mother was extremely happy to receive this financial help. “I could see the stress in her that we all have now. I know the $25 won’t go far. Maybe it will be good for one day, but we wanted to help her so she doesn’t have to worry for at least one day,” Patel said. Although retail pharmacists are feeling stress, Patel said, “I can’t imagine how bad it is for hospital pharmacists. I have volunteered to help in the hospital if they need me. I would love to help in any way I can.”

Al Gentile, owner and head pharmacist of St. George Pharmacy, a Good Neighbor Pharmacy in Staten Island, N.Y., is no stranger to assisting his community through times of adversity. Located just a few blocks from Staten Island’s ferry terminal to Manhattan, St. George Pharmacy was on the front lines during 9/11, when the community lost nearly 300 peoAl Gentile, ple. Similarly, the pharmacy St. George Pharmacy, remained open for the comStaten Island, N.Y. munity in the days following Hurricane Sandy to provide first-aid supplies to triage locations and supply community members with batteries, flashlights and appropriate medication. These events have provided Gentile with the experience to navigate the coronavirus pandemic. “We have always stayed open despite upheaval,” Gentile said. “We think it’s important to show our community that we are there for them, particularly in times of great need.” Since most Staten Islanders, who typically work in Manhattan,

are now working remotely, the pharmacy has been serving more patients than ever before. Gentile is ensuring the health and safety of the staff and patients by taking proper precautions necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. From filling a prescription to delivering personal care needs, St. George Pharmacy stands as a symbol of resiliency. “We need to be there for them,” Gentile said. “This is an important reminder that we’ll get through this, and we’ll get through it together.”

Three-thousand two hundred. That’s the number of masks that Hashim Zaibak, owner of Milwaukee-based Hayat Pharmacy, a Health Mart pharmacy, gave to the public for free in one day. What’s more, the pharmacy brought the items to people who were waiting in their cars. “When the pandemic started, there was a lot of news and uncertainty. A lot of things Hashim Zaibak, like gloves, masks and hand Hayat Pharmacy, sanitizer were out of stock. We a Health Mart Pharmacy, were busy contacting vendors, Milwaukee, Wis. who were able to get us some of those products. We got a shipment of 3,200 masks and many gloves the same week that the guidelines came out for people to start wearing masks when they go out in public,” Zaibak said. Zaibak recalled how happy the people in his community were

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COVER STORY to receive the much-needed items. “Yesterday, we received a card from the police department saying, ‘Thank you for doing this for the community,’” Zaibak said. Zaibak, who is the majority owner of 17 Health Mart pharmacies, most of which are located in the inner city of Milwaukee, also has hired more drivers and bought two new cars to be able to sustain the increase from 50% to 90% of home deliveries of prescriptions. “The zip codes, where our pharmacies are located, have the most COVID-19 cases in the state of Wisconsin. That community is very underserved,” he said. “Obviously, we are all soldiers in this battle. And we all do our little things. As a pharmacy, we can do certain things to fight this big battle. We felt it was important to help the community,” he said. Hayat Pharmacy also is reaching out to a large population of non-English speaking Rohingya immigrants in the community by posting a video in their language on precautions to take to prevent COVID-19. The video, which is posted on the pharmacy’s social media page and on YouTube, has received hundreds of views within a short period of time. The pharmacy also has technicians who can translate COVID-19 information into other languages, such as Spanish, Polish, Arabic and Somali. Zaibak, who recently received another shipment of masks and gloves, said, “We’re thinking of doing it again. This is a way of paying back to the community. We have a duty and an obligation to serve the underserved.”

Young Tran, Bartell Drugs, Redondo Square, Des Moines, Wash.

Young Tran, pharmacy manager at Bartell Drugs in Redondo, Wash., has a binder in which she keeps track of senior patients who are 65 years old and older. With about 200 patients, one can only imagine how arduous a task it would be to call each patient during the pandemic to see if they are healthy, and to find out if they are running out of their medications. However, Tran does not give it a second thought about going the extra mile. In fact, Tran even comes to work early before the

pharmacy opens to consult with patients. “I tell them, ‘Come in at 8:30 before we open. No one is here. You’ll be in and out.’ Making those special arrangements has helped,” Tran said. Tran also can be seen bringing medications to patients waiting in their cars, as she did for a woman in her 80s who is caring for her husband with Alzheimer’s disease. “I go to their car, grab their list of pharmacy and convenience items, go back into the pharmacy to shop, and bring the items out,” Tran said. “Many of these patients don’t have children or grandchildren around to help. During this time, it really helps when you have someone who can go out for you. It’s safer than going around and trying to find things in the store.” Tran also ensures that patients who rely on Bartell Drugs for specialty medications get their medications in a timely manner. “I have reminders to call patients to fill their prescriptions five days early, so that the medications can get shipped out to them in time,” she said. Finally, Tran said, “My job is not only as a pharmacist, but also a doctor, a friend and a person they can trust. They tell me everything, even about their financial issues. I do come in very early and stay later because I want to help patients and the community. What’s nice is we’ve been getting patients calling and saying, ‘Thank you,’ and sending lunches. They notice your hard work,” she said.

Erica Hoffner, pharmacy manager at Thrifty White in Grand Forks, N.D., already had built a specialty program at the pharmacy before the pandemic hit. This has enabled her to be on the front lines during the pandemic, helping patients who are on longacting antipsychotic medications to continue their regimen. “It’s very important for us to help patients continue on their maintenance medications. We Erica Hoffner, also have partnered with a Thrifty White Pharmacy, clinic,” Hoffner said. “If they Grand Forks, N.D. have to close due to the pandemic, they can count on us to give their patients their long-acting antipsychotic medications here.” Hoffner said that Thrifty White’s specialty pharmacy sends the injections, along with PPE for her protection. “We make sure we have the injection ready, and then we escort the patient into our counseling room and keep the contact minimal. The room is sanitized before the

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COVER STORY patient comes and after the patient leaves,” she said. Hoffner recalled how many of her patients visited her on a daily basis prior to the pandemic. One male patient, who has a mental health issue, is no longer stopping by to say hello, but Hoffner said, “We are still talking, whether by text message or a phone call, so that he knows we are still there for him in case he needs something. We have a lot of people who have a lot of different chronic conditions. We try to help keep some of those routines and to maintain some consistency, so that people can still have some normalcy in their day-to-day life, since everyone’s life is upside down now.” Hoffner is humble about stepping up her efforts during the pandemic. “I couldn’t do this without my staff. They put their heart and soul into helping patients,” she said.

If you walk into Mills Civic Hy-Vee pharmacy in West Des Moines, Iowa and hear pharmacy intern Grace Dahlen chatting on the phone with a 95-year-old woman, you would think she’s talking to her grandmother. Yet Dahlen, who has been working at Hy-Vee for two and Grace Dahlen, a half years, is chatMills Civic Hy-Vee pharmacy, ting with a nursing West Des Moines, Iowa home resident, who is lonely because she is not allowed any visitors during the pandemic. Dahlen said that she and one of Hy-Vee’s pharmacists deliver medications frequently to the nursing home down the street where the woman resides. “We deliver to about 50 patients. They were in lockdown, so I made a list with their phone numbers,” Dahlen said. “One Friday when we were slower, I called all of them, checking to see how they were doing, and if they needed any medications, OTCs or grocery items. We sent those items out.” Dahlen said all of the residents are happy to get the call, but especially the 95-year-old woman, who was so excited

that she puts the next date for the call on her calendar. During their chats, Dahlen said the woman talks about when she was younger, how she met her husband, and about her children and grandchildren. “She always asks what I look like, so I took a picture and sent it to her. She said she put it on her refrigerator and will send a picture of herself. I run through her medications to see if she needs any products. She has three big windows, and one overlooks the gazebo. She counts how many people are outside and lets me know how many were in the gazebo that day. She has someone bring meals every day, and she likes to let me know which meals she likes and dislikes. She told me her grandkids rode their bikes 7 miles to visit her the other day, but they were told they can’t come in to visit anymore.” It appears that Dahlen and the pharmacy staff also are reaping benefits from the calls with the other residents that they reach out to. “They enjoy being able to have someone looking out for them. It’s a nice way to be able to help these residents,” Dahlen said. “It makes me and everyone in the pharmacy feel that we are making more of an impact since we don’t have as many in-person interactions with patients during this time.” dsn Drug Store News senior editor Sandra Levy, managing editor David Salazar and editor-in-chief Seth Mendelson contributed to this article.

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Supermarkets Stay Ahead Supermarket operators turn to high-tech solutions to ensure patients stay adherent and healthy By Sandra Levy

S

upermarket pharmacies have gone yard. Not only have they kept pace with their large retail chain brethren by expanding into clinical services, including medication therapy management and immunizations, but they have the distinction of being able to connect their pharmacies with nutrition because of the recent influx of organic foods, vegetables

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and beverages stores are adding to their grocery aisles. And they increasingly are filling a greater volume of prescriptions. In fact, in 2019, supermarkets with pharmacies accounted for 7.4% of domestic prescription revenues, an increase from 7.2% in 2018. Supermarkets accounted for 12.5% of 30 day equivalent prescriptions dispensed in 2019 compared with 12.4% in 2018, according to the “2020 Economic

Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers” from the Drug Channels Institute. For 2019, the report estimated that prescription revenues at supermarkets increased by 5.1% compared with a decline of 4.4% in 2018, and 30-day prescriptions dispensed increased by 6.3% in 2019 compared with an increase of only 1.6% in 2018, said Adam Fein, one of the report’s authors.

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PHARMACY PHARMACY || SUPERMARKET SUPERMARKET PHARMACY PHARMACY

Many supermarket pharmacies have become more intelligent about leveraging all the bells and whistles that technology companies have to offer to more efficiently fill prescriptions, so they can provide optimal patient care. Amid the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, technology has taken on greater importance. DSN asked several technology company executives to discuss what innovations they are offering to help supermarket pharmacies work even more efficiently to meet consumer demands during COVID-19, and how they view the future, post-pandemic lockdown.

Bavis Drive-Thru

Offering convenience to supermarket pharmacies through its high capacity drivethru services has been a centerpiece of Cincinnati-based Bavis Drive-Thru’s offerings. Bavis president William Sieber said he has seen a spike in requests from supermarket pharmacies to install second drivethru lane systems. In addition, a renewed sense of urgency to address existing second lane systems with neglected maintenance or those left to disrepair during the COVID-19 pandemic has occurred. “Everyone wants to go to the drivethru for touch-free delivery of products. Pharmacies are putting very high demands on the systems, and while our products are meticulously designed to meet these demands, it’s important to know that preventative maintenance is vital,” Sieber said. “We’re continually working to ensure this is understood and adapted, while simultaneously responding very quickly to these and other unforeseen repair-orientated services. We’ve also ramped up production and inventory, and are selling more drawers, windows and remote lanes.” Bavis’ newest product, the Vittleveyor, is helping supermarket pharmacies to deliver prescription medications, along with large OTCs and other items, which Sieber said could be especially helpful during the pandemic. Additionally, Bavis’ audio system, which runs through the phone system, enables pharmacists to counsel from any phone without leaving their station. A call center also can be set up through the system so a pharmacist can counsel patients from a remote location.

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The Compliance Team

Sandra Canally, founder and CEO of The Compliance Team, based in Spring House, Pa., helps supermarket pharmacies ensure that customers in the store utilize the pharmacy’s services. “This is where they have an obvious opportunity to tie good eating habits to the customer’s current health status,” she said. “Through medication management services, supermarket pharmacists can discuss what the customer needs to manage their medications and adhere to their regimens, and also address what lifestyle issues are directly related to helping the medication work more effectively to manage their disease,” Canally said. Many supermarket pharmacies have been community pharmacy accredited by The Compliance Team, which Canally said aids them in focusing on daily practices and operational improvement. For supermarket pharmacies performing point-of-care testing, MTM, counseling and care planning, The Compliance Team offers an accreditation called Patient Centered Pharmacy Home. “We have many regional chains that are highly sophisticated in their operation and offer many services via nutritional counseling with dieticians in addition to the pharmacist,” Canally said. Through the pandemic, The Compliance Team is making a point to check in with

customers to see how they are doing and what they have put in place for infection control and emergency preparedness, as well as how the company can help them as their accreditor. “We want to know how they have changed their service delivery models during this crisis and how they are protecting themselves, their staff and customers,” Canally said. “We offer weekly webinars every Thursday at 2 p.m. EDT. All of our employees are working the phones remotely and eager to help our customers with resources.”

Inmar Intelligence

Inmar Intelligence provides supermarket pharmacies with actionable analytics, including industry benchmarking, to help improve their margins and optimize their use of working capital. The company also helps supermarket pharmacies use data to improve payer negotiations and provide payer appeals and audit management as a service so they can increase revenue recovery. Lari Harding, vice president of client development, said that Inmar’s techenabled services in the supply chain allow operations to be more efficient. “All of this empowers pharmacies to improve margins by growing the top line and lowering expenses and bad debt,” she said. Harding pointed out that supermarket

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INDUSTRY AWARDS PROGRAM Drug Store News is proud to recognize, celebrate and honor women making outstanding contributions to their companies and the industry. More than 140 women were honored November 2019 at the inaugural Top Women in Health, Wellness and Beauty event and gala. Winners were awarded in the categories of Career Achievement, Business Excellence, Commitment to Care and Rising Stars.

Who will be honored in 2020? Visit www.dsntopwomen for updates on timing for nomination opening in the spring and details on the gala event in the fall of 2020. Follow us on

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PHARMACY | SUPERMARKET PHARMACY

USING THE WHOLE STORE Supermarket pharmacies use loyalty data, technology to grow their reach The future of supermarket pharmacies will include an increased push to connect loyalty systems and pharmacy databases to nutrition shopping. This will enable CPG brands a new data set to target shoppers’ holistic needs. There also will be a push for more natural alternative therapies like CBD that can deliver health incomes, according to Brian Owens, Kantar Consulting’s senior vice president of retail insights. The pandemic opens the door for telemedicine to become a greater priority across all retail channels, especially retail pharmacies. The use of digital health also will look different as we get to post-pandemic lockdown and beyond. “Digital health is more than Fitbit devices,” Owens said. “It’s more about tracking consumption as an ability to supplement clinical care that may come from a pharmacist, a primary care provider or from a selfdiagnosis,” Owens said. Hy-Vee has been leveraging digital technology in its 274 pharmacies to improve patient care. In the summer of 2019, Hy-Vee launched a family pharmacy accounts service, which enables Hy-Vee shoppers to link and manage accounts for multiple family members. “As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, this feature has made it easier for one person from a family to come into the pharmacy for multiple people’s prescriptions versus each individual needing to make a trip in the pharmacy,” a Hy-Vee official said. Albertsons, which operates 2,252 retail stores with 1,726 pharmacies, also is finding that its use of technology has been even more instrumental in providing patient care amid the pandemic. Mark Panzer, Albertsons’ senior vice president of pharmacy health and wellness, said the supermarket chain is using technology to remotely process prescriptions and balance workloads between pharmacies, thus speeding up the filling process and allowing more time for pharmacists at the store to take care of patients’ needs. “Our clinical services platform is identifying high-risk patients for pneumococcal disease, so the pharmacy staff can recommend pneumococcal vaccine and explain how the vaccine can provide protection against this disease, which is so critical during the pandemic,” Panzer said. The use of mobile apps, which provide convenience to supermarket pharmacy customers during normal circumstances, have taken on even greater importance as the pandemic progresses. Hy-Vee’s mobile app is helping customers manage prescription transfers and refills, as well as view their account history for their entire family. Albertsons offers prescription delivery requests via its mobile app. It also manages refill requests by text, interactive voice response, and its web/mobile app. Text/voice reminders are used for Rx Ready Prescriptions, and two-way electronic communication provides prescription status with patients/caregivers taking specialty medications. The use of artificial intelligence is yet another technological innovation that is poised to grow in the future. Hy-Vee uses AI to identify patients who are at a greater risk of not 56 56

following their physician’s medication recommendations. Patient adherence notifications within the pharmacy’s workflow help pharmacists identify when patients are non-adherent to their regimen. “Using this real-time and integrated information, pharmacists can provide counseling and proactive measures to keep patients on track and improve their health outcome,” the Hy-Vee official said. Finally, while the future is uncertain, there likely will be more new drugs approved to dispense, and hopefully a COVID-19 immunization to provide, which would be a boon to supermarket pharmacies’ bottom line. With the likelihood of another cold and flu season to weather and the chance for additional social distancing mandates, Owens said that supermarkets’ use of technology will be an outcome of social distancing and a new reality that is less physically engaged, but better able to reach people across channels. Mobile devices will gain in usefulness beyond the pharmacy’s downloadable app, which lets customers know when to refill their prescription. “Those types of experiences will be more interactive and consumers will be leveraging them more to make decisions on products and services,” Owens said. — Sandra Levy

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PHARMACY | SUPERMARKET PHARMACY

pharmacies experienced an increase of 20% to 30% in fill volumes when COVID-19 began. “Many consumers are getting 90-day fills on their insurance plans, while some insurers are allowing for early refills. In some instances, consumers are paying cash for additional refills to ensure they have their medications. Inmar analytics are helping our supermarket pharmacy clients better understand these trends in patient behavior so they can make more informed decisions at the corporate level and quickly implement needed changes,” she said. Harding said that Inmar’s analytics can help pharmacies monitor fill shifts to inform agile decision-making, and help address excess inventory issues with returns solutions that allow for shipping current inventory back to the distribution center so that medications can be redeployed to the pharmacy where they’re needed. The increase in home delivery of medications during the pandemic also is creating a need for prescription returns services that easily can be employed in cases where a patient refuses delivery. “Pharmacies do not want potentially exposed drugs coming back into the pharmacy, and they need to make sure the return process is clear and comfortable for consumers,” Harding said. “Inmar can provide return kits for all e-commerce pharmacy programs.”

Innovation

Innovation, based in Johnson City, N.Y., offers a full range of both in-store and centralized high-volume pharmacy automation solutions. Marvin Richardson, the company’s newly minted CEO, said that supermarket pharmacy chains are evaluating the best way to centralize their prescription fulfillment due to cost reduction, resource reallocation and patient care benefits that centralization brings to the table. “In this model, we would implement our PharmASSIST Symphony for High Volume platform, enabling them to manage their central fill site at the highest levels of efficiency,” Richardson said. “Additionally, we offer professional consulting services that could help streamline their workflow processes and decrease patient waiting times.” Richardson highlighted Publix and Giant Eagle as examples of Innovation’s prominent

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chain customers that are having success with their centralization of prescription fulfillment. “We have proven that moving to a central fill model is the smarter and most cost-effective way to go. Central fills decrease in-store workloads by pulling large numbers — upwards of 50% — of maintenance refills out of their stores,” he said. “Filling prescriptions centrally also lowers the cost to fill, greatly reduces medication inventory at the store level, and optimizes patient safety by freeing up in-store pharmacy staff from prescription checking and fulfillment to delivering patient-facing interactions.” Finally, Richardson said that several of Innovation’s customers are expanding their hours of operation at their central-fill pharmacies in order to accommodate the added prescription volume and to enable all necessary patient interactions amid the COVID19 pandemic. “As they prepare for the eventual COVID19 vaccine, they are planning ahead to add capacity at new central fills or existing central fills to move more prescription filling out of the local stores. This will allow for more time for their pharmacists to perform immunizations,” Richardson said.

Knapp

Kennesaw, Ga.-based Knapp provides multiple automation solutions for supermarkets and their pharmacy operations. These include solutions for in-store pharmacy and grocery, as well as upstream in the supply chain. Upstream solutions include direct mail, central fill, compliance and specialty pharmacy automation. Knapp also is a market leader in deployment of the latest distribution center automation, keeping supermarkets and their pharmacies running efficiently, especially in challenging times. Brian Sullivan, senior systems sales manager of healthcare solutions for the United States and Canada, said that the company’s Apostore robotic dispensing systems store a large percentage of medications in the back pharmacy, allowing rapid retrieval of OTC items and medications. “Because of our advanced vision systems, medications do not need to be stored as a single NDC per position, but can be comingled,” he said. Each facing can have four, six or more meds stored, and the system always knows where the medication is, its lot number and expiration date. This ensures a technician is always provided the first medication

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to expire, and the pharmacy is able to use up to 60% less space for storage,” he said. In times of drive-thru dispensing and social distancing, Sullivan said the Apostore 24/7 automated systems allow a supermarket pharmacy to dispense medications after the pharmacy staff has gone home. “Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Knapp has been helping supermarket pharmacies ensure existing infrastructure is operating at peak capacity. “Critical supply chain and healthcare projects continue to move forward with implementation and adoption of best practices,” Sullivan said. Knapp also is prioritizing healthcare channels. “We have emphasized critical supply chain businesses as we work diligently to respond to projects and initiatives designed to expand capacity and meet new operating requirements, and, as we are all keenly aware, these projects have increased in both scope and urgency,” he said.

from disparate data sources and links them together as a common record to establish a universal patient identifier,” said Craig Ford, LexisNexis senior vice president of pharmacy sales. “The pharmacy, then, is better able to fully realize a key component of interoperability with providers and care teams to ensure that patients are accurately identified and treated with a complete picture for wellness and disease management.” The use and integration of important social determinants of health data helps pharmacies identify patient medication adherence challenges, Ford said. The company’s Provider Data Masterfile and VerifyRx also help supermarket pharmacies to improve patient safety while reducing regulatory risk. “The key here is automation and workflow integration, so pharmacies feel less burden and more empowerment in meeting compliance demands,” Ford said. “The solutions are highly configurable and responsive so pharmacies can identify potential submission errors, providing checks on all prescription transactions before they are transmitted to payers.” Ford said that the company is helping pharmacists during the pandemic with its VerifyRx Prescriptive Authority Edit feature that accurately checks state-specific prescriber credentials so a provider’s prescriptive authority can be narrowed down to the drug level. Its ThreatMetrix cybersecurity solution aids pharmacies providing drive-thru or remote COVID-19 testing services. This solution allows pharmacists and healthcare associates to access patient data quickly and securely through employee portals via tablets, laptops and other portable devices.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions

McKesson

As supermarket pharmacies seek to balance patients’ needs with business and regulatory demands, providing access to the right data at the right time is critical. Enter LexisNexis Risk Solutions, based in Alpharetta, Ga., which enables the automation of relevant data insights right into the pharmacy workflow for supported decision-making and maximum efficiency. “With respect to patient safety, our sophisticated linking technology analyzes records

Officials at Las Colinas, Texas-based McKesson said the distributor’s focus is on providing a stable and predictable supply chain. To that end, Chris Dimos, president of retail solutions, said that McKesson helps to ensure that all supermarket and community pharmacies are able to offer the right products at the right price and at the right time. “Many supermarket pharmacies have effectively put automation and robotics into practice in meaningful ways,” Dimos said. “For

example, using inventory management solutions from Supplylogix enables pharmacies to maximize replenishment activities, increase efficiencies and minimize losses from returns, thereby helping to lower operating costs.” Dimos said he expects more pharmacies will take advantage of centralized prescription dispensing systems, such as McKesson’s Central Fill as a Service to improve customer service and patient outcomes, as well as increase labor efficiency without a huge initial investment. “By choosing the service that allows them to move filling tasks to another location, these pharmacies are able to shift the pharmacy team’s focus to additional patient care services, including wellness programs, chronic condition management services, specialty drug dispensing, and more,” he said. “This lets them better engage with their patients and dedicate time to developing new revenue streams.” Dimos also said McKesson is responding to the supply challenges in the industry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by “helping to make sure that the supply chain continues to deliver every day, and that the company has the available products in the right place in the right quantities when people need them.”

McKesson Pharmacy Systems

Las Colinas, Texas-based McKesson Pharmacy Systems offers supermarket pharmacies software workflow tools like EnterpriseRx, a robust, clinically driven pharmacy management system that, when coupled with Clinical Programs Solutions, integrates clinical services and other interventions, such as vaccinations directly into the daily workflow. This combination helps provide pharmacists with reporting and documentation of provided clinical services to support medical care reimbursement. “From there, we can also help them lessen the manual tasks at often very busy retail locations by adding automation solutions, including central fill and mail order services through our High Volume Solutions business,” said Patty Hayward, vice president of sales. Supplylogix software enables supermarket pharmacies to realize as much as a 35% improvement in inventory turns and minimize losses from unsalable returns by as much as 25%, all leading to bottom line savings, Hayward said.

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, Supplylogix has been helping customers adjust their inventory redistributions outside normal capacities and increase purchases as necessary to make sure each location has what they need to support their patients.

Omnicell

Omnicell, based in Mountain View, Calif., is making headway with its Omnicell Patient Engagement platform. Danny Sanchez, vice president and general manager of population health solutions division, said that the company’s Omnicell Patient Engagement platform allows supermarket pharmacists to have a more rounded, value-based discussion with consumers by enabling pharmacists to present opportunities to consumers, such as MTM, medication synchronization and immunization notifications. “We queue and prioritize information on the platform for the pharmacy staff. We present value-based interventions and campaigns that a chain may want to act on. Additionally, opportunities to assist payers are presented so that we can help them target their high-risk patients,” Sanchez said. Omnicell also is enhancing its omnichannel communication platform technology to enable supermarket pharmacies to learn customers’ behaviors, so that they can message patients to

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pick up their medications or to get an immunization at the most appropriate time and place. “Our omnichannel system has the potential to be a game-changer by helping pharmacies control the high volume of patients coming to pick up their 30-, 60- and 90-day refills,” said Sanchez, who expects the system to help pharmacies deal with the high volume of patients when a COVID-19 immunization becomes available, as well. “We’re taking AI learning to another level and tying everything together. We’re learning customers’ habits, leaning on their demographic and geographic profiles to reach their patients at the appropriate time. It will help blunt the volume of patients coming in at once and will make it more convenient for the pharmacist to perform at the top of his or her license,” Sanchez said.

PrescribeWellness

Irvine, Calif.-based PrescribeWellness, a Tabula Rasa HealthCare solution, is a leading provider of patient relationship management software and services that expand the role of pharmacy to deliver population health and chronic care management services. Farah Madhat, executive vice president of the pharmacist providers division, said that PrescribeWellness’ proprietary cloudbased technology leverages behavioral

science and interoperability to ensure pharmacies are capitalizing on enhanced patient care and revenue opportunities. “Through one centralized platform, PrescribeWellness software can address a number of patient care options, including patient communications via voice or text, medication synchronization, vaccination program support and reporting, identifying gaps in coverage, Medicare plan reviews, eCare plans, and adverse drug effects risk scores,” Madhat said. As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, through PrescribeWellness software, pharmacies can manage their patient communications

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Surescripts

and send important pharmacy updates at scale, educate and engage their community with social media content, protect patients by limiting visits to the pharmacy with medication synchronization and predictability, and document COVID-19 encounters within the eCare platform.

ScriptPro

ScriptPro provides robots that leaders at the Mission, Kan.-based company said can handle 30% to 60% of a supermarket pharmacy’s prescription volume. “ScriptPro’s robots enable a pharmacy to do more with fewer staff resources,” a ScriptPro spokesperson said. “With direct-to-vial filling, you can dramatically limit unnecessary human handling of your prescriptions.” ScriptPro also is stepping up its efforts to help supermarket pharmacies with their workload during the pandemic. “On the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic, ScriptPro robots help pharmacies deliver the best care possible,” the spokesperson said. “From dramatic spikes in pharmacy volume to staff shortages, now more than ever, you need powerful systems that bring efficiency, accuracy and safety to every prescription you dispense. We are ready to rapidly deploy ScriptPro technology into any pharmacy environment, along with training and 24/7 support.”

Arlington, Va.-based Surescripts supports supermarket pharmacies with technology and tools designed to help them receive more complete and accurate prescriptions faster, and to offer them at a price that patients can afford. “This all can lead to shorter exception queues; lower prescription abandonment; better adherence; enhanced pharmacy operational efficiencies; and happier, healthier patients,” said Ken Whittemore Jr., Surescripts vice president of professional and regulatory affairs. Since 2016, Surescripts has driven an 80% improvement in the accuracy of eprescriptions. “This increase often eliminates time-consuming faxes and phone calls; helps to optimize time to therapy; reduce the risk of adverse drug events; and avoid confusion for prescribers, pharmacists and patients,” Whittemore said, adding that Surescripts processes more than 5 million e-prescriptions everyday via its nationwide health information network. With the company’s RxChange message, communication between the pharmacy and prescriber is streamlined directly in the pharmacy management workflow. “When pharmacy personnel identify a need to make a change to or clarify the original new prescription, they can electronically send the prescriber a pharmacy RxChange Request. The prescriber can then reply electronically with an RxChange Response,” Whittemore said. Surescripts also offers Clinical Direct Messaging, which connects pharmacists and other healthcare professionals with secure, HIPAA-compliant exchange of protected health information. Clinical Direct Messaging enables secure electronic communication with prescribers, including the ability to attach documents. “This helps to significantly reduce delays and back-and-forth phone calls,” Whittemore said.

Synergy Medical

Synergy Medical is a leader in providing technology that helps supermarket pharmacies improve adherence. Rob Anderson, senior director of sales for the Western United States, said that supermarket pharmacies can differentiate themselves by providing an adherence program, with convenient packaging to help patients better

manage their medication. Anderson cited the following benefits of multidose blister cards for patients managing multiple medications: l Prescriptions are organized by dosage time to eliminate confusion; l It is easier for a patient to self-medicate and for caregivers to monitor, if medications are being taken; l There is only one delivery or one trip to the pharmacy per month; and l There is proven improved adherence and health outcomes with a combination of MD blister packs and MTM. SynMed automation allows a pharmacy to consolidate prescription processing and reduce the labor associated with the production of adherence packs. It also reduces the amount of touchpoints for prescription processing and offers the ability to use existing labor for more value-added tasks or areas of need. During the COVID-19 outbreak, multidose blister cards enabled supermarket pharmacies to serve the most vulnerable, high-risk populations that are managing underlying conditions. “It reduces the amount of ‘touchpoints’ for the processing of a patient’s prescriptions and confusion associated with self-medicating. It also reduces pharmacist interventions and ensures that the patient is taking the right medication at the right time,” Anderson said. “Daily production is planned and easier to control by syncing a patient’s medications onto a common start date for all refills.”

Uniweb

Bill Bender, vice president of sales and marketing at Corona, Calif.-based Uniweb, said that the biggest challenge supermarket pharmacies face today is to design efficient pharmacies with small footprints. “Our goal is to design pharmacies where pharmacy personnel can grow into a pharmacy and not be obsolete in a year or two,” he said. To that end, Uniweb offers an experienced design department that helps create an efficient workflow design. This includes the company’s flexible pharmacy shelving system, as well as standard work counters and adjustableheight work counters, which are designed to improve ergonomics. dsn

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HEALTH | SLEEP AND SNORE

Sweet Dreams Sleep and snore products gain sales momentum during the pandemic, but manufacturers said they will remain vital post-crisis By Nora Caley

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leep? What’s that? As consumers look for a way to get a decent night’s sleep before, during and after the coronavirus crisis, retail industry officials said they increasingly are turning to in-store solutions to help them catch an extra 40 winks. According to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm, for the 52 weeks ending March 22, sales of sleeping remedies totaled nearly $1.04 billion in total U.S. outlet (grocery, drug, mass market, military and select club and dollar stores), an increase of 17.9% compared with the same period the previous year. The average price per unit was $7.80, up 52 cents. Also according to IRI, sales of sleeping aid tablets increased 19.1% to nearly $874.7 million, and sales of sleeping aid liquids increased 12.1% to $163.9 million. Now with the pandemic, many think the category is ripe for future growth. “With the state of the national pandemic, there is a greater level of stress, anxiety and depression, and consumers are looking for natural alternatives to help aid in restful sleep, relaxation and reduction in anxiety,” said Jon Romanow, director of marketing at Pleasant Prairie, Wis.based Quest Products. “The pandemic is stimulating more consumer demand for these products and, thus, the category. Maintaining restful sleep will continue to be important for future health management, stress reduction and, at the time travel becomes in higher demand, more rest during flights and travel will be important.” Leading the charge is a growing interest in natural products, which contain either the now ubiquitous melatonin or other emerging ingredients that are capturing attention. “More and more, we are seeing that consumers don’t want to rely on prescription drugs to help them when they are having trouble falling asleep,” said Kimberly Vigliante, senior vice president of wholesale sales and marketing

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at Ronkonkoma, N.Y.-based Piping Rock, which makes the Nature’s Truth brand. “They want natural solutions that they can feel good about and that are efficacious for their needs.” Melatonin has become the go-to drug-free remedy for help with sleep issues, Vigliante said, and now consumers are looking for more. “Products that blend other calming ingredients like L-theanine and ashwagandha are also on the rise,” she said. “They give the consumer more options to decide which product type is right for them when it’s time to wind down for the night.” Nature’s Truth offers a breadth of natural solutions to address consumers’ sleep concerns and that the company said meet high standards of purity and potency. The brand offers such products as Fast Acting Liquid Melatonin 10 mg and L-theanine 200 mg, and fast-dissolve offerings in a range of melatonin strengths, including 300 mcg, 1 mg, 3 mg, 5

mg, 10 mg and 12 mg. Everyone experiences sleep challenges differently, Vigliante said, so retailers should have assortments that appeal to consumers looking for a low strength melatonin for occasional sleeplessness, as well as others looking for stronger doses. “The sleep and air categories are growing organically, with more consumer focus away from medicated products and an interest towards natural alternatives,” Romanow said. “We have seen this with innovation and consumer interest in non-medicated offerings, including sleep dilators, filters, patches and more. Also, natural supplements appear to be gaining traction, including melatonin-based vitamins, gummies and supplements.” Another natural ingredient getting attention is CBD. Earlier this year, Charlotte, N.C.-based cbdMD launched CBD PM softgel capsules as a convenient, travel-friendly version of its CBD PM tincture. “The most significant shift is the

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Ear Care Solutions # 1 ear cleaning tool line in the U.S.A.* Safer ear cleaning for the consumer, higher sales and profits for retailer.

Sleep Care Solutions Unique internal nasal dilator for increased airflow and reduce snoring. Delivering category leading growth in consumer focused sleep segment.

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HEALTH | SLEEP AND SNORE

trend towards more natural sleep solutions,” said Pancho Mangual, executive vice president of sales. “Consumers are now more likely to make decisions about products and brands that align with their lifestyle choices.” Consumers also are more likely to choose products that have such certifications and registrations as being produced using good manufacturing practices and NSF International registration. “Authenticity, sustainability and transparency have become critical factors for many customers,” Mangual said. Some CBD companies are offering topical products. Herb Tech Pharmaceuticals, based in Beverly, Mass., offers Be Sleepy, a lotion the company said “could help people achieve their sleep potential” and combines CBD with botanical extracts, including melatonin, lavender, valerian, hops extract and others. “Anxiety and stress are felt by most people in the world today, which can have major impact on sleep quality,” said Herb Tech senior vice president Laura Stephens. “Consumers are trending to be their healthiest by either maintaining their current healthy lifestyle habits or creating new healthy lifestyle habits. Sleep is one of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and immune system.”

The Right Mix

Sleep is a high-trial category, according to Jim Creagan, president of Cornwall, N.Y.-based Randob Labs, so retailers need to offer products that meet multiple customer needs. “This means an assortment of OTC and natural

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sleep aid products with at least the most popular delivery systems, such as capsules, gummies, liquids, etc.,” he said. “Consumers will base their purchasing decisions on the dosage format, brand and value.” Also, retailers need to invest in digital technology, as consumers will likely continue to embrace online shopping after the coronavirus pandemic subsides, Creagan said. Randob Labs makes Dormin, which the company said has been trusted with consumers since the 1950s and is the original nighttime sleep aid brand. The brand recently refreshed its packaging to emphasize key messaging. The sleep aid, with the active ingredient diphenhydramine, comes in mini capsules. Creagan said that a 2019 consumer research study found that 65% of current sleep-aid users said they are more likely to purchase a brand with two mini capsules than a single-dose, larger tablet product. The variety in the sleep set should include not just homeopathic and allopathic products, but also products for all ages. “Consumers are looking for personalized solutions rather than a one-size-fits-all,” said Annie Chen, vice president of marketing at Los Angeles-based Hyland’s. “Sleep patterns and causes of sleep disruptions are different for everyone, and one way they differ is by age group.” For example, Chen said, teens are dealing with the stress of school, while older women may be losing sleep due to such menopause symptoms as hot flashes and

night sweats. “It’s hard to reach some of these smaller and underserved consumer groups when they don’t know where to find products designed for their unique needs once they’re in a traditional retail store,” she said. She also said that retailers can make the section easier for people to shop by communicating that the store has products just for these consumers by creating dedicated areas within the store or by highlighting small dedicated areas within a larger shelf set. Hyland’s expanded its sleep portfolio with products dedicated to teens, adults and seniors. In addition to Hyland’s Calms Forté for adults, there is Serene for young adults that helps with focus and sleep, and Dr. Wise Sleep for women going through menopause. All are made with natural active ingredients, are free of hormones, and have no known drug interactions or side effects.

The Air That We Breathe

The sleep category includes not just products to help consumers sleep, but also items designed to help people sleep without snoring. Quest Products makes sleepWell, an internal nasal dilator for snoring relief. “With snoring the problem is not you, it’s your partner,” Romanow said. The product provides a drug-free, chemical-free and side effect free way to reduce snoring, and it contains essential oils including lavender, chamomile and ylang-ylang. The company also recently launched breatheWell, a nasal filter designed for people interested in protection against the smallest of airborne particles and pollutants. It is drugfree and latex-free, and the rings are made of a surgical-grade polymer that is nontoxic. The products are especially popular among millennials and Generation Z consumers, who are looking for unmedicated solutions, so there is an untapped opportunity to reach baby boomers and other age groups. Quest Products is doing its part by printing product information on the packaging. When people have insomnia, they visit the store and start reading labels. “For this category, a lot of the messaging is on shelf,” Romanow said. “People depend on messaging on the packaging.” dsn

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HEALTH | SLEEP AND SNORE PRODUCTS

Nature’s Truth Expands Melatonin Offerings The latest innovation from Nature’s Truth, a Piping Rock brand, is a value size of the Melatonin fast dissolves that offers 12 mg of melatonin per serving, which the brand said is one of the highest strengths in the market for maximum sleep support. This spring, Nature’s Truth also launched Extra Strength Melatonin Gummies. The vegan-friendly gummies contain 10 mg of melatonin and a natural berry flavor. Also new are Calm Caps, vegetarian capsules featuring a blend of L-theanine, ashwagandha, passionflower and chamomile.

Nature’s Bounty Extends Line with Sleep3 + Stress Support Nature’s Bounty built on the success of Sleep3, launched in 2019, to introduce Sleep3 + Stress Support, a tri-layered tablet designed to address the desire for restful, quality sleep. The tablets contain an added 100 mg of GABA to support occasional stress, plus 60 mg of ashwagandha and time-release melatonin. The 10 mg of melatonin per serving consists of 5 mg of quick-release melatonin to fall asleep fast and 5 mg of time-release melatonin that works with the body’s natural sleep cycle to help stay asleep.

Quest Launches Airway Products Quest Products introduced breatheWELL, a nasal filter designed for people interested in protection against the smallest of airborne particles and pollutants. Its unique filtration material is electrostatically charged to better capture microscopic particles and protect people from droplets released during coughing and sneezing. The company also makes sleepWELL Sleep/Snore Internal Nasal Dilator for Snoring Relief, which Quest said is clinically proven to reduce snoring and provides a drugfree, chemical-free and side effect free way to enjoy a restful night’s sleep. Each nasal dilator is infused with a calming blend of therapeutic essential oils, including lavender, chamomile and ylang ylang.

Prana Principle Grows Lineup

cbdMD Adds Capsules

Prana Principle Soothing Sleep Lotion with CBD, Lavender and Melatonin is a CBD-infused lotion for natural nighttime relaxation. Melatonin plays a role in helping to regulate the natural sleep-wake cycle. The calming and soothing aromatherapy from lavender can help promote sleep as well. Also new from Prana Principle is CBD Moisturizing Body Oil with Lavender, a CBD-infused body oil scented with lavender essence. This combination provides a calming and soothing aromatherapy benefit that couples with CBD to help promote healthy relaxation, the company said.

cbdMD released CBD PM softgel capsules, which provide consumers with a convenient, travel-friendly version of the brand’s CBD PM tincture. In softgel form, CBD PM easily can be implemented into an individual’s nightly routine that may also include other vitamins and supplements. cbdMD also simultaneously released softgel iterations of its classic tincture formulas.

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Back to Business Mass retailers are looking to regain an edge in the beauty category. This restart might help. By Seth Mendelson

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hat is it going to take to get the beauty business back on its feet again? The answer, according to more than a dozen key industry officials that Drug Store News contacted in late April, is a solid, step-by-step, in-store merchandising and marketing program by retailers and suppliers backed by coordinated advertising and, yes, a little bit of luck. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the beauty category right in the face. Sales tumbled in most, but not all, segments as consumers

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were forced to stay home by government order, and the thought of using cosmetics and other products simply faded away. Yet, that was last month. Now, more and more signs of an economy on the rebound are springing up and, importantly, consumers are going back to work. The equation is quite simple: More people working equals more beauty sales. The best news, it appears, is that consumers are going to be looking for the best deals, and mass retailers are best positioned to offer them.

Social media posts started filling up with how-to videos on removing gel nails, applying at-home gels or fake nails, and how to create a spa at home. Americans even began posting fully made-up faces to show they still knew how to apply makeup. There was hope. No matter how the numbers are diced, the beauty category has taken a hit during the pandemic as many people were forced to work from home and often bypassed a morning dash of lipstick and spritz of fragrance. Despite some solid numbers from the nail

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care and hair coloring segments, the last two months have been tough. Nielsen numbers for the first quarter of 2020 in mass doors showed cosmetics dropping by 5%, skin care and hair care each growing by just 1%, and fragrances sinking down by 11%. Kline’s market research forecast the worst drop for U.S. cosmetics and toiletries in the 60 years it has been tracking the business with a worst-case scenario coming in at an 8% decline. Kline’s likely picture is a 2.5% decrease. Prestige beauty, where stores are closed, showed a 58% drop in sales in March. While some of the business was siphoned off by online activity, mass merchants undoubtedly picked up some of the sales. The life-changing events drove sales of several mass categories. For example, constant washing of hands promoted almost 30,000 online searches for hand masks, according to Trendanalytics, a 1,400% increase over last year. Interest in ingredients seen as immunity boosters soared, such as vitamin C, echinacea and elderberries — all ingredients that brands are adding to skin care. As stores begin to reopen and a “new normal” emerges, tremendous opportunities

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for mass market retailers to win in beauty exist. In a report about the future landscape, the Los Angeles-based HatchBeauty Brands painted a bright future for mass merchants. “With the shutdown of stand-alone beauty retailers, we believe multi-category retailers like drug and food stores, who’ve made a break for beauty in the last few years, will be able to convert even more shoppers to their beauty section with greater ease and efficiency,” the HatchBeauty Brands’ report “Here + Now, Beauty in a Post COVID-19 Economy” said. “Beauty and bananas sound more convenient than ever before,” the company said, singling out retailers to watch, including Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, Target and Whole Foods Market. Equally bullish on mass retail is Jim Corbett, vice president of retail sales and analytics at Rogers, Ark.-based Inclusions Companies. “Mass retailers and grocery chains will have business tailwinds in cosmetics and beauty categories coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “Shopper behavior will be impacted by customer confidence, greater price awareness

and increased desire for all-in-one trips. Beauty enthusiasts will grow in conviction to choose products and service themselves in home if they find brands they trust.” There are conversion opportunities, as well. “Consumers will be looking to stretch every dollar, and that will convert some from higher-end department stores,” Corbett said. There also will be a decline in shopping trips, which can benefit one-stop stores. Stephanie Wissink, an analyst at New York-based Jefferies, also said that not only were department stores shuttered during the coronavirus, many face store closures and bankruptcies. If they close, that could further erode the 22% share that department stores control of the beauty pie. “During recessions, consumers typically trade down to lower-priced beauty products, especially in more discretionary categories, [such as color cosmetics and fragrance],” Wissink said. Yet, even with these positive indicators, the mass beauty department of tomorrow can’t stay the same as it was pre-pandemic. Odds are that the use of makeup won’t revert, at least in the short term, to pre-pandemic levels, especially since women got used to foregoing it when stuck at home. Usage already was on the downturn because of more natural makeup choices. There will be need for more contactless selling, especially in terms of sampling cosmetics. Yet on the other hand, the role of pharmacists and other experts will continue to be a reason to visit drug, discount and food stores with pharmacies. Ulta Beauty’s CEO Mary Dillon said the beauty powerhouse is running several “scenarios” of what physical retailing will look like. “We’re putting our inventive hats on with experts to say, ‘How do we get back in the business and lead the way?’ Consumer demand will be out there,” Dillon said. Among the challenges will be duplicating the hands-on service in a world concerned with germs. “We are consulting with health experts and consultants to get the lay of land and have a ready stance.” DSN spoke to a number of key executives in the beauty industry to get their feelings on the immediate future of the category.

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“Mass retailers have a tremendous opportunity to capture consumers.” As we begin to look at beauty post COVID19, we believe mass retailers have a tremendous opportunity to capture consumers who, to date, have been more likely to shop stand-alone beauty retailers. Right now, and in the following weeks and months, consumer needs will be focused on a mix of practicality and psychology. Practically speaking, many typical beauty routines are moving from out-of-home services to in-home do-it-yourself moments. As such, we expect to see a surge in demand around nail, hair and skin care typically reserved for spas and salons. From a psychology standpoint, we believe as consumers continue to focus on ‘fighting germs’ they will seek products with high efficacy, especially as it relates to antibacterial and detox. This trend is likely to bleed into the inside out beauty space with ingestible beauty increasing its focus to include both glowing skin and immunity benefits for the balance of 2020 and into 2021. As a company, we’ve made many shifts in the last weeks to accommodate the changes we are seeing. We’ve launched a hand sanitizer program at mass retail. Additionally, we are currently tweaking critical ingredients in many of our innovation products to accommodate what we are seeing in the skin care and ingestible space. — Preston Bottomy, president, HatchBeauty Brands

“Back to the days when drug and mass were your DIY beauty sources.” There has been a measurable lift in sales in the FDM beauty aisle, particularly hair texture hair aisles. I believe this sales lift is due to closure of Ulta, Sally Beauty, salons, barber shops and neighborhood beauty supply stores. Essential workers still need to meet their beauty needs. I am sad for the reasons behind the shift and pray for the employees that have been furloughed in the other chains. I am happy for FDM retailers that are seeing the lifts. It takes me back to the days when there were no specialty stores and drug and mass was your DIY beauty source. It is my opinion that shoppers will see FDM with a new lens, and a good percentage will continue to look in these aisles for hot new trends. Do-it-yourself, whether it be nails, hair, color or waxing is taking a whole new look, and the DIY is reaching all income levels. The result is that the total basket will get greater. I don’t believe the online sites like Amazon are positioned to meet immediate beauty needs. Shipping has been slowed to allow for delivery of essential items. Being quarantined has reminded shoppers of how effective visual, touch, feel is to the purchase decision. As far as supply chain challenges, we work with our vendor partners and the FDM chains, we manage to assure supply chain is grade A. Forecasts and projections are a challenge when unexpected lifts occur. Add to the challenge production facilities closing, employees working virtually, and imports of raw materials and finished goods can be delayed. It’s not just hand sanitizers and toilet paper that have been out of stock. Being nimble is required. — Roslyn Chapman, president and founder, The Chapman Edge “Create a destination in stores.” With more people looking to bring the spa to their homes, it is helpful to create a destination in stores. This is something that, for the most part, doesn’t exist in mass market stores. Customers also appreciate being able to find all of their needs in one stop. With Plum Beauty, we offer affordable tools

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for people looking for noninvasive alternatives. They also want multipurpose tools to enhance their natural beauty. We can customize our selection for each retailer. We’re especially seeing younger customers getting proactive and looking for products with youth-boosting appeal. Some of our best sellers are our facial cleansing devices — a great time-effective option for women juggling multiple priorities and can’t take time to go to a spa. Other best sellers are our rose quartz rollers, nail kit and our eyebrow shaping razor. We were stressed before COVID-19, so the idea that people can take control of their own wellness is a desirable experience. They feel good about retailers who acknowledge this shift and make it easy to find products, so they don’t have to go to multiple stores. — Stephanie Trachtenberg, marketing director, Clio/Plum Beauty “There is low-hanging fruit to grab.” While beauty junkies are staying home more and dressing up less, it is pretty temporary. And many of them are being more experimental than ever before. For example: nose waxing, do-it-yourself nails, creative at-home hair color and more. Some women are like, “Wow, this is actually fun, and it saves time and money.” There are also many who can’t wait to get back to the salon. As far as usage, color cosmetics will definitely take a hit — a dive — especially as special events, parties, weddings, etc., are on hold. Putting on a full eyeshadow, liner, mascara, lashes isn’t a lead usage right now. Skin care and hair care will see a surge. Also, tools like the Revlon Hair Styler. Once the floodgates open, there is a big part of the beauty community that is so going to get super dressed up and wear a lot of makeup. Everyone is getting super bored of the lazy beauty look. Now it’s up to the beauty companies to entice, convince and intrigue consumers to wear, explore, buy and have fun with beauty more than ever before. Chain drug, supermarkets and discounters need to really step it up, too. They need to elevate how they present and showcase their products. They are right on

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trend with sanitary concerns, with their sealed packaging. The major mass brands still need to truly elevate the way the products look and how they show shades. There is still so much work to do in these areas. Reinvent the hook-and-hang planograms. Offering just more skin shades isn’t the answer because it still doesn’t help a customer identify their needs. Drug stores and chains have a big lead over a Sephora or Ulta in a crisis as we have learned. They are more health focused. The pharmacy is so important, and I would love to see more interfacing between pharmacy and the beauty department. Beauty will be blending with OTC health care like never before, such as wipes, liquid hand sanitizers, etc. Drug and supermarket retailers need to really start looking at beauty as a key sector, not just an extra afterthought. It is time for them to really dive in and understand Instagram and omnichannel retailing and platforms. There is low-hanging fruit to grab there for sure! The future is definitely going to be an interesting journey. — Jeanine Recckio, founder, Mirror Mirror Imagination Group

“We should take note of what they couldn’t live without.” There are two things that I think retailers and businesses must do in order to rebuild retail again. The first thing I think is to be patient with each other. We don’t all work with or for the same retailer, nor do we all live or work in the same region. So many decisions are not our own, so it will be up to each of us to be kind and conscious and considerate, all while being as responsive and productive as possible. Remembering that the end goal is to help the customer get the value they deserve and expect, and with a little more patience than ever before. Secondly, I think this is a phenomenal time for all of us in this industry to take note of how the customer voted and what the customer voted for. When I’m in a pinch, and we all were, customers’ behavior in some cases surprised us. It is important to get conscious and be responsive to how customers responded. We should take note of what they couldn’t live without, as well as what shopping methods resounded and how our products and shelves can move toward what customers clearly showed us they wanted. — Psyche Terry, founder, UI Global Brands

“Merchandise healthy skin, self-care essentials in high-traffic areas.” We are seeing people really tuning into their health and wellness during this challenging time and finding comfort and a sense of normalcy in their everyday skin care and beauty routines. Some of our top-selling products have been cleansers, sensitive facial care, detox masks and hand creams. And, now more than ever, people are considering the health and safety of their products, as well as their impact on the planet, so they are leaning toward natural and sustainable options. In the near term, as visits to retail are still selective, there’s an opportunity to merchandise healthy skin, self-care essentials in high-traffic areas. It may not be the trip driver, but is still very important to her overall health and wellness. As people get out into stores more, merchandising “affordable luxury” items, such as balm and lipstick, will make it easier for people to infuse a little joy in their day. — Denise Wellander, senior director of sales, Burt’s Bees “Rebuilding will require creating sanitation protocols.” My observations of what happened during quarantine include: Major hit in sales due to retail brick- and-mortar shutdown; Seventy-six percent of consumers said they purchased in superstores like Walmart and Target during the pandemic; Seventy-five percent said they were shopping on Amazon; Sixty-nine percent of consumers said they are buying more beauty online than ever before — online increase of 30% for brands; Customer were looking for DIY/spa treatments at home in lash growth, masks, nail products, hair dye, hand sanitizer, vitamins/supplements and hand soap; Fragrance and color took a hit in sales; Mass beauty did well, marking a customer shift; and Brands raced to social media to engage with quarantined consumers. Rebuilding will require creating sanitation protocols to make customers feel comfortable. Retailers should take inventory of

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best-sellers. Perhaps bring in new categories now that customers are comfortable shopping at mass. Stay social. Beauty Barrage is pivoting to social selling by having our 300-plus field team post/ livestream and story tell on their social platforms, and leading followers to e-com. We created sanitation protocols for retailers and our staff. Mass beauty might recover faster than prestige because they did not experience the major shutdown prestige has, plus customers will be looking to continue to save. — Sonia Summers, founder and CEO, Beauty Barrage “People need to do something with that mop of hair on top of their head.” We have seen a huge uptick in home hair cutting and beard grooming over these past several weeks. This should not come as a surprise. With barbershops and beauty salons closed, people need to do something to maintain that mop of hair on top of their head. We have seen our website explode and Internet search soar on topics of home hair cutting and DIY. Someone sent me the following that they got off of LinkedIn: “Thought you might have interest in Doug McMillon’s post on LinkedIn today: “Here’s a look at how buying patterns have shifted in the last few weeks: Week 1: Hand sanitizers, soaps and disinfectants Week 2: Toilet paper Weeks 3 and 4: Spiral hams and baking yeast Week 5: Hair clippers and hair dye on the rise To be on the radar of the CEO of the world’s largest retailer is certainly a new place for our category. We have seen household penetration on our products jump from around 48% to almost 60%, and even after the barbers and salons reopen, I imagine there will be many households where the DIY trend will continue. I expect this category growth to abate to some degree, but still level off at a rate higher than before we entered this time as many households will have found that what they once thought was beyond their capability is now a part of their new reality.

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Add to this the fact that we may be heading towards a recession and the moneysaving aspect of home hair cutting makes our products even more attractive. In 2008, when we last hit a recession, the hair clipper category grew as families looked for ways to save money. As we rebuild our economy again, I expect Wahl hair clippers will play a role in saving money and time, while making our country look good one haircut at a time. — Bruce Kramer, senior vice president of North America consumer division, Wahl Clipper “Brick-and-mortar retailers will have to take extra steps to enhance the in-store consumer experience.” Retailers will need to make sure their products are in stock and ready, due to the anticipation of much heightened demand. They’ll also need to reexamine how they’re stocking and restocking their shelves to ensure that essential products are prominently displayed, so that consumers can easily and quickly find what they need. These past few weeks have seen a higher degree of acceptance in ordering products online, so brick-andmortar retailers will have to take extra steps to enhance the in-store consumer experience to once again draw people in, while facilitating a convenient safe and hassle-free shopping process that builds consumer trust. Retailers will also need to build stronger, bolder, more compelling stories around the beauty products that are relevant. Their messages will need to be more meaningful and focus on products that offer the most value and benefits, and differentiate them from the immediate influx of beauty brands fighting for the attention of the same consumers. As the pandemic has shifted perceptions, values and spending habits, and people’s concern with less disposable income, beauty brands and retailers will need to speak to consumers in more authentic and innovative ways. The need

to educate consumers on brand promises is more important than ever and can be led more prominently with unique value propositions. Being an essentials provider, we have been laser focused on getting hand sanitizers, liquid soaps and other personal cleansing products onto the shelves of our partnered retailers. It’s all hands on deck for us right now, as we work around the clock to support our trusted retail partners by shipping millions of essential personal care products. The challenge is being able to keep pace with such an immediate high demand and to ensure we’re stocked and ready for future consumer needs. Through creative problemsolving, we are currently building out and diversifying our supply chain of raw

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REBUILDING BEAUTY

materials and components. Because there is currently such a worldwide demand for those components, we’re experiencing bottlenecks with some of our manufacturers. To mitigate this, we’ve made some temporary substitutions of bottles, pumps and caps, while preserving the same uncompromising Raw Sugar formulations inside that make people feel clean, nourished and cared for. We’re thinking a year ahead and looking to internalize our manufacturing of materials so that we can not only meet current demand, but also satisfy our forecasts, all with an eye on our brand promise to consistently deliver premium quality products affordably. — Ronnie Shugar and Donda Mullis, founders, Raw Sugar Living “Retailers have an opportunity to fulfill pent-up demand for ‘hightouch’ services.” Interesting to note the self-care element and especially the focus on foot care — masks, callus remover, callus softener and foot grater

are all among the most searched skin care categories, according to Google, through mid-April. The only options for consumers who wanted beauty products were either online stores or mass market stores that definitely provided the quick fix. Retailers have an opportunity to fulfill the pent-up demand for “high-touch” services — brow touch-ups, styling sessions (if they have in-store salons), as well as focus on education for self-care. To provide a fun experience, they can become the “hangout” place for small groups of friends who want to reconnect after the long stay at home period. Our company is focused on providing a platform for beauty brands to connect with beauty insiders and, as such, we are providing regular Instagram takeovers with beauty and wellness experts, providing tips on selfcare by sharing tips and specific “how to” techniques. For moms and daughters staying at home, we are offering a braiding lesson as a series with leading braiding influencer pros. Considering the financial impact of the shutdown, most consumers will need to be thrifty when it comes to their discretionary spending. Mass market stores that have invested their efforts into providing a robust merchandise offering with more indie brands will be in a better position to attract consumers’ attention and dollars. — Daniela Ciocan, CEO, Access Beauty Insider/Unfiltered Experience “Retailers should consider a twopronged approach.” Overall, we see people are leaning more into skin care over makeup. As people are spending more time at home and also thinking more about matters of health, we see that they’re leaning more into self-care, including skin care. People have been approaching skin care more proactively for different reasons: Some are seeing their skin encounter new issues from changes in daily routines or heightened stress, others are using this time to invest in skin care routines, and others are turning to self-care rituals that are more extensive like masking. With these changes, we have seen an increase in popularity in products like

the Power Calm Hydrating Cleanser, which cleanses skin while supporting the skin and not stressing it out; acne targeting products; and even exfoliating masks since people are not able to visit their facialists for services. We have also heard from our community via our social media platforms that having a morning ritual is helpful to demarcate the start of the day. We’ve also seen a lot of engagement with specific facial techniques demonstrated with the spa-grade, nontoxic, nonirritating Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum. And we see a lot of people applying non-wash-off masks like a sheet mask to decompress, as you can do this while in bed or your couch — no need to get up and wash the skin. The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on our way of life. It’s changed the way we work, the way we structure our days, and it will have an indelible impact on the way we shop. Consumer behavior will be impacted by this in the future, even when we go back to “normal.” Retailers must adjust their previous ways in order to adapt to the future of brick-and-mortar and understand that, while consumers will emerge from their homes and go back to grocery stores and work, there will be a high cautiousness for their health. Retailers should consider a two-pronged approach: First, gain the trust of your consumers and demonstrate that your store is taking every precaution to put safety first; and second, provide compelling perks and incentives to go back into stores. Retailers can professionally sanitize their stores, ensure they’re following specific regulations and CDC guidelines, and let clients know exactly what they’re doing to prioritize safety. Depending on the situation, the new normal for a while may be only allowing a few shoppers in at a time, and potentially even finding ways to physically lay out the store to promote social distancing. Communication will be key. In times of fear and stress, I believe clients will appreciate frequent and transparent communication on how in-store policies work and how safety has been prioritized. — Alicia Yoon, founder and CEO, Peach and Lily dsn

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LAST WORD

Crisis Lessons Influence Retail’s Future The pandemic has created preparedness imperatives and new ways of interacting with customers and communities By David Orgel

David Orgel is an awardwinning business journalist, industry expert and speaker. He is currently the principal of David Orgel Consulting, delivering strategic content and counsel to the food, retail and CPG industries.

E

veryone’s waiting for a return to some level of “normality.” But even when that happens, it won’t be the old normal. For food and drug retailers, the future will be influenced not only by new economic realities, but also by lessons we’ve been learning in real time during the COVID-19 crisis. These lessons range from imperatives for preparedness to new ways of interacting with consumers and communities. Insights are still emerging, and it’s uncertain which will have the longest impacts. But as we move further along the path, here are a few key lessons sure to have a place in retail’s future. Extreme Creativity Succeeds Being creative means “changing your perspective” and “solving a problem in a new way,” according to a post on the website Creative Something. Given this, I’d say retail hasn’t only outperformed, but broken all records. Food and drug retailers have shown how urgency breeds innovation. They quickly launched one-way store aisles, plexiglass sneeze guards, senior shopping hours and other initiatives. It’s not clear which, if any, of these will be long-lasting features. What’s more important is keeping the creative spirit alive to address future needs. Rivals Can Become Partners Retailers already were forming unprecedented numbers of partnerships before the coronavirus crisis hit. However, the pandemic sparked a phenomenon that couldn’t have been imagined: Rivals became collaborators in real time. In particular, foodservice production was redirected to retail, and furloughed foodservice employees were hired by retail organizations. This incredible level of cooperation begs the question of how competitors can work together in the future for the good of all. Systems Need to Be Ready No one could have expected the stress on retail systems this pandemic has produced, from supply

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chains to delivery and curbside pickup. However, going forward, there’s an opportunity to pressure test systems to a greater degree, with the benefit of hindsight. This will almost certainly lead to the adoption of enhanced supply chain technologies and increased e-commerce capabilities. Speaking of e-commerce, it’s likely online shopping use will accelerate more quickly. However, not all consumers had good e-commerce experiences during this crisis, so it’s up to retailers to make sure omnichannel is ready for anything in the future. Transparency Gains in Importance Until recently, transparency tended to focus on product ingredients and origins. In the coronavirus era, it has extended to what’s happening in stores, warehouses, fulfillment centers and other parts of operations. Retailers have proactively relayed news about employee health and store cleanings. These communications boost trust. While this extreme level of transparency is unlikely to continue after the crisis, there will be opportunities for enhanced communications about safety and related topics. Customers Aren’t Just Consumers Retail marketing has flourished in recent years, with a focus on personalization and new technology tools. Enter COVID-19, and all of a sudden everything changed. Consumers were putting almost any items in their carts. This naturally disrupted conventional marketing, but some retailers found new ways to engage by recognizing the holistic needs of consumers stuck at home. A case in point is Chicago food retailer Mariano’s, which unveiled Mariano’s Meet Ups, described as “an online platform for cooking classes, wine tastings, mixology sessions, live Chicago style music and more!” Retailers like Mariano’s have understood this moment, and consumers won’t forget them. Let’s not forget perhaps the biggest lesson of all: food and drug retail matters. These retailers have kept America going, and their front-line employees have become heroes. The halo is likely to remain for quite a while. dsn

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Beauty & Brawn!

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