Drug Store News - December 2018

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Pharmacy: Dual-Degree Advantage



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Vol. 40 No. 12 DrugStoreNews.com



18 Focus On

38 Foot Care


Manufacturers bring high-tech convenience to shoppers

20 2018 Pharmacy Innovator of the Year: Albertsons

41 News

From its focus on the pharmacy patient to its empowered pharmacists, Albertsons is setting itself apart

INSIDE BEAUTY 42 Nail Care Nail care companies look to buff out challenges with innovative products

COLUMNS 6 Editor’s Note

45 Nail Care Products

8 Industry News 14 Counter Talk with Lindsay Bealor Greenleaf of ADVI

16 Products to Watch Powered by Hamacher Resource Group


46 Last Word with David Orgel Consulting’s David Orgel

PHARMACY 30 Dual-Degree Programs Joint PharmD/MBA programs give students a leg up in the job market

36 News

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. 40, No. 12, December 2018. Copyright © 2018 by EnsembleIQ. All rights reserved.



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Commitment Is Key Albertsons is a standout among pharmacy operators By Seth Mendelson


ood for the goose, good for the gander? Not always. Take, for example, QuickCheck, a New York area-based convenience store operation that announced in late October that it was closing its nine pharmacies in stores scattered throughout New Jersey to focus on its vibrant fresh food and beverages business. By most accounts, the chain no longer saw the value in operating a pharmacy and, some said, its top officials Seth Mendelson have come to realize that if you want to be in the pharEditor in Chief/ macy business, it is a case of being all in or all out. They Associate Brand chose out. Director Albertsons, the recipient of Drug Store News’ 2018 Pharmacy Innovator of the Year Award, is a case of being all in with pharmacy. As we discuss in our cover story this month, Albertsons officials are making it clear that they are covering all the bases and leaving no stone unturned with their pharmacy operation in order to better serve their patients and maximize the financial potential of the category. That is a hefty task. The Boise, Idaho-based chain operates roughly 1,800 pharmacies across 35 states and under 20 different banners, including its namesake Albertsons banner, as well as Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco and Acme operations. Thousands of pharmacists and other employees are involved in this part of the business, and the logistics of keeping everyone happy — customers and employees — is complex and confusing. Government regulations, keeping up with new technologies, and drugs and healthcare issues, including working with insurance companies, only dramatically compound the situation.

As we discuss in our cover story this month, Albertsons officials are covering all the bases and leaving no stone unturned with their pharmacy operation to better serve patients. But Albertsons’ officials get the job done and, as we came to see in a few days of interviews at the company’s headquarters in Boise, they get it done by creating an intricate strategy built around teamwork. They also get it done by concentrating on “scripts, standards and service,” and paying a huge amount of attention to their consumer needs at the pharmacy. The pharmacy operation of the future will look much different than it did just a few years ago, and even now. The retailers who stay ahead of the curve will continue to thrive in this business. Albertsons, it appears, is one of those retailers that plan on being at the forefront of this industry for the near term and well into the future. We are proud to recognize them for their efforts and many successes. dsn



An EnsembleIQ Publication 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631 Vice President, Brand Director Eric Savitch (856) 489-3336, esavitch@ensembleiq.com Editor in Chief /Associate Brand Director Seth Mendelson (212) 756-5160, smendelson@ensembleiq.com EDITORIAL Associate 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 Beauty Director Laura Fontana (440) 724-4369, lfontana@ensembleiq.com Northeast Manager Alex Tomas (212) 756-5155, atomas@ensembleiq.com Regional Manager Steven Werner (312) 961-7162 swerner@ensembleiq.com Brand Marketing Manager Mary Ellen Magee (856) 419-8411, mmagee@ensembleiq.com Media Production Assistant Betty Dong (212) 756-5134, bdong@ensembleiq.com Director of Audience and Data Gail Reboletti (224) 231-6363, greboletti@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 Art Director Amy Kelkenberg PRESIDENT Consumer Goods Retail Business Jennifer Litterick (647) 946-9219, jlitterick@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 REPRINTS PARS International, LF-Reprints@parsintl.com, (212) 221-9595 x435, tinyurl.com/LF-reprints. Single copy price is $15 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 Executive Chairman Alan Glass Chief Executive Officer David Shanker Chief Financial Officer Dan McCarthy Chief Digital Officer Joel Hughes Chief Innovation Officer Tanner Van Dusen Executive Vice President, Events & Conferences Ed Several

“My patients need help affording their prescriptions.

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CVS Health Closes Aetna Acquisition

Kellogg Launches Hi! Happy Inside Cereal Kellogg, parent company of Pringles, Eggo and Kashi, among others, is look-

ing to help consumers boost their morning breakfast routine. To do this, the Battle Creek, Mich.-based company launched its Hi! Happy Inside cereal line, which delivers prebiotics, probiotics and fiber in one box. “Hi! Happy Inside is a delicious cereal with three powerful ingredients to support digestive wellness,” Aleta Chase, marketing director at Hi! Happy Inside, said. “This new cereal provides a proactive real food solution to people who want to incorporate more prebiotics and probiotics into their diet.” The cereal’s 3-in-1 combination helps support digestive wellness by delivering one billion CFU live probiotics from active strains, feeding probiotics with prebiotics and providing a source of fiber, the company said. Hi! Happy Inside is available in simply strawberry, bold blueberry and coconut crunch varieties. The cereal is sold in 34.5 oz. resealable bags at Costco for $12.99, and six-count cups at Amazon for $13.99. In 2019, it will be sold in individual cups for $1.99.

Kind Rolls Out Smaller-Portioned Snacks Kind is changing the way its consumers snack.

The New York City-based company recently debuted its new Kind Minis, which contain 100 calories or less and balance health and taste. “For years, 100-calorie snacks have enjoyed a health halo due to their smaller pack sizes and lower calorie count, but in reality, they provide little nutritional value,” Daniel Lubetzky, founder and CEO of Kind, said. “With Kind Minis, we aim to turn the industry’s approach to small-portion single-serve snacks upside down. In so doing, we hope to shift the conversation so that it focuses less on quantity of calories and more on quality of ingredients.” Kind Minis come in three bars with almonds, two with peanuts and one with cashews. In addition, select bars contain such fruits as cranberries and cherries, the company said.



The $70 billion acquisition that has the potential to remake the retail health landscape is complete. On Nov. 28, CVS Health closed its acquisition of health insurer Aetna after receiving final approval from the last of 28 state regulators — roughly a month after the companies received the Department of Justice’s conditional approval for the merger. DOJ required Aetna to divest its standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan — with WellCare Health Plans stepping in as the buyer of the plan — which have roughly 2.2 million members. As part of the merger, CVS Health is adding three Aetna directors to its board alongside Aetna chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini. CVS Health president and CEO Larry Merlo told analysts and investors in early November that his focus is on the impending integration with the health insurer, with a long-term focus on substantial medical cost reductions, increased revenues through membership growth, increased customer satisfaction and retention, customer value expansion through CVS Health assets, and growth enabled by an open platform model. The aim, he said, is to realize two-year synergies of $750 million, while building the foundations of a healthcare model he said would lead to long-term growth. Substantial savings also are expected to be achieved through a specific portfolio of such products and services as the better management of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, asthma and behavioral health, Merlo said.

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BeWell Launch Helps Users Stand Up BeWell Health is offering the Dr. Hana’s Nasopure Nasal Wash System, a product that offers users

an opportunity to stand straight and maintain a natural head position without bending or twisting. “The patented device delivers an ergonomic and effective nose wash,” said Hana Solomon, CEO of the Aurora, Colo.-based company. “The Nasopure system flushes the solution along the nasal floor, ensuring a comfortable wash. Other devices flush upward, often causing a drowning sensation. “Your nose filters 10,000 liters of air per day, produces 1 pint to 1 quart of mucus per day, so it just makes sense to clean your personal filter.” Along with having the premium nasal wash when it comes to comfort, BeWell Health has taken additional measures to boost the ethical quality.

Nasopure products are made in the United States, contain 100% recyclable BPA-free material and are assembled by adults with disabilities.

FamilyWize Updates Prescription Discount Mobile App FamilyWize, an organization that offers families and


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Pharmacy specific Solution

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10/9/2018 11:10:10 AM


individuals access to their medications at a more affordable cost, has significantly enhanced its mobile app’s overall design and performance capabilities to save time and money for its users. Available to all smartphone users via the iOS App Store and Google Play, the updated FamilyWize app features an improved Medicine Cabinet tool, enabling users to more easily find, manage and compare drug costs to save on their prescription medications. Medicine Cabinet users can update their dosages and preferred pharmacy location, if a lower price is found elsewhere. The update also unifies FamilyWize’s mobile app with its website to best serve its users. New features include the ability to view a saved medication’s price upon opening the app, which helps a user decide where to refill by alerting them if lower prices are available, or if they already have the best FamilyWize price. Additional features include Medication History, which stores a list of active and past medications; and Saved Pharmacies, which automatically catalogs all bookmarked pharmacies into a concise list and allows users to receive notifications for local pharmacies.


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Beacon Opens Practice in Texas Walmart Supercenter Shoppers who frequent the Walmart Supercenter in Carrollton, Texas, have a new way to access mental health care. The store’s Walmart Care Clinic area now houses the first Beacon Care Services practice — an offshoot of Boston-based behavioral health company Beacon Health Options that is aimed at making outpatient mental health therapy more accessible. The Beacon Care Services practice currently is staffed by a single therapist, who is available on a walk-in or appointment basis, according to its website. Beacon

noted that more than 10.1 million Texans live in an area considered to have a shortage of mental healthcare professionals. “This initiative combines our company’s behavioral health expertise with our long-standing dedication to making quality care more accessible,” said Russell Petrella, Beacon Health Options president and CEO. “We chose a retail setting for the first practice because it offers the convenience of a local neighborhood location that is close by and easy to get to, and our evening hours accommodate our patients’ schedules. Our online appointment scheduling system makes it easy for people to plan their visits ahead of time to fit into their busy lifestyles.” Beacon said it is evaluating further locations for future practices that will expand patient access to behavioral health services.



CoverGirl Debuts Times Square Flagship Store Beauty brand CoverGirl made a splash on Black Friday with the opening of its first permanent retail store in Times Square. The store opened with the goals of embodying the brand’s “I Am What I Make Up” philosophy and providing an experiential beauty shopping destination, CoverGirl said. The store, located at 7th Ave. and 49th St., includes two levels of offerings focused on virtual and real-life opportunities to try on and experiment with CoverGirl products. It also features a virtual greeter named Olivia, powered by Google’s Dialogflow platform, as well as augmented reality “glam stations” powered by Holition. The glam stations offer the ability to virtually try on lipstick and eyeshadow, as well as blushes, mascara and foundation, to create a look that can be digitally shared. Besides its digital offerings, the flagship includes a customization station for lipstick and makeup personalization, and makeup application from CoverGirl BFFs, who will dispense tips and product recommendations. “The CoverGirl flagship represents this incredible moment in beauty, where rich experiences matter most and where true self-expression and experimentation are the only beauty standards,” said Ukonwa Ojo, Coty consumer beauty chief marketing officer.











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2018 Policy in Review Shining a light on this year’s policy changes reveals pros, cons and promise By Lindsay Bealor Greenleaf

A Lindsay Bealor Greenleaf is director at ADVI, a healthcare consulting firm representing life science companies and healthcare provider organizations.


s 2018 ends, many of us will spend a brief moment reflecting on the year, pondering our highs and lows, our successes and failures. The most motivated among us will take the extra step to identify areas of our life where there is room for improvement. Rather than limit reflection to our personal lives, let’s revisit prescription drug pricing reforms. Let’s start off on a positive note by recalling favorable policy changes and proposals. In May 2018, the Trump administration proposed several positive policy changes in its drug pricing “Blueprint,” including proposals to: modify the Anti-Kickback Statute safe harbor that allows for rebates; require a percentage of rebates to be applied at the point of sale to reduce patients’ out-of-pocket costs; and promote value-based buying in federal programs by enabling such tools as indication-based pricing. In September, Congress voted to prohibit pharmacy “gag clauses,” which PBMs use in their pharmacy contracts that prevent pharmacists from telling customers when they can pay less for a drug by forgoing using insurance. Considering a recent USC Schaeffer study that found that 23% of prescriptions paid at the pharmacy counter by commercially insured patients are overpaid, this reform was a win for patients. Yet, this year also included several troubling policies put forth by the Trump administration. In August, the administration enacted a policy change allowing Medicare Advantage plans to force seniors to “step through” an undesired drug before being granted access to the physicianadministered therapy prescribed by their doctor. Beginning in 2019, this “fail first” policy will significantly harm patients suffering from some of the most complex and debilitating conditions. In October, the Trump administration proposed the “International Pricing Index Model,” which would impose international reference pricing for Medicare patients’ physician-administered drugs. Compared with the rest of the world, the United


States places a high value on access to therapies, which is why Americans currently enjoy access to cancer treatments two years earlier than other developed countries. If the administration chooses to swap today’s payment design for this new model, we are at risk of losing the speedy access to innovative therapies that we enjoy today. In November, the administration targeted long-standing Medicare Part D patient protections, proposing to weaken “Protected Classes,” which currently guarantee coverage for cancer, HIV, epilepsy, mental health and transplant rejection drugs. A proposed rule would allow plans to expand prior authorization use and step therapy, and exclude a Protected Class drug from coverage if its price increases faster than inflation. If finalized, this would hinder access to treatments for Medicare’s most vulnerable patients. While 2018 brought a mixed bag of reforms, we can find promise in the future.

While 2018 brought a mixed bag of reforms, we can find promise in the future. With Democrats in control of the House of Representatives, we expect them to develop and vote on aggressive drug-pricing legislation. Yet with Republicans maintaining control of the Senate, it is unlikely that any of these policies will be enacted next year. Since regulators are immune to the policymaking slowdowns that result from midterm election campaigns, we expect the administration to continue its current policymaking pace. Going into 2019, we can hope that the administration sets aside some time to observe the implications of recently enacted changes before barreling through with another series of reforms. Only by slowing down and measuring the effectiveness and consequence of 2018’s reforms can we be confident that these changes are productive and protect patient access to critical therapies. dsn


Product Standouts HRG spotlights top five November launches



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Mentholatum’s Rohto brand is widening its scope, positioning its latest redness relief eye drops as an ace in the hole for a put-together look. The product is meant to whiten and hydrate eyes with a cooling sensation. Its single-drop dispenser is designed not to flood eyes or cause makeup to run.


Diva Cup Model 0


Aveeno Positively Radiant MaxGlowTM Infusion Drops

n November, Hamacher Resource Group’s new product team looked over 111 products to root out potentially big sellers. From nine OTC products, 60 wellness products and 42 beauty products, HRG identified five that retailers should keep their eyes on. Most of the November highlights deliver on consumers’ desire for natural or “free from” products. They are:

Aveeno Positively Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

The first of two November standouts from Johnson & Johnson’s Aveeno brand, the sunscreen lotion uses naturally sourced mineral ingredients that can be used every day and on sensitive skin. The main ingredient, zinc-oxide, is completely naturally sourced,



according to the company. It is free of parabens, phthalates, dyes and fragrances.

Consumers continue to turn to cups as an alternative to such traditional menstrual care products as tampons and pads, and Diva Cup’s latest launch is looking to make the option accessible to those younger than 18 years old. The Model 0 is intended for

females between the ages of 13-and-18 years old, and is meant to provide up to 12 hours of protection. Coppertone is bringing its line of sport products to its children’s offerings. The sunscreen lotion from the Bayer brand is formulated to stay on even when kids sweat, making the long-lasting protection an option for more than just adults.

Aveeno’s second standout product is designed to even skin tone and texture while leaving skin hydrated and soft. The hypoallergenic serum also is noncomedogenic and free of parabens and phthalates. dsn


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Making Sure the Price Is Right FamilyWize’s value proposition can help create loyal patients By Seth Mendelson


hat do consumers want most from their pharmacy visits? According to numerous surveys, shoppers want easy access to their pharmacists, good operating hours and assistance with making sure they get the best products for their particular needs. Most importantly, however, they are looking for the best possible prices and as little confusion as possible with the pharmacy’s notorious, perplexing pricing structures that can leave consumers wanting for something that is much simpler. The complexity of the pharmacy operation has caused many consumers to hesitate when seeking to fill their scripts and, in some extreme cases, giving up on the process altogether. That is where officials at FamilyWize, a Bethlehem, Pa.-based company devoted to getting the best prices for their consumers, think they can play a big role. The company said its mission is to partner with pharmacies across the country to negotiate prescription discounts so that consumers will receive the best possible prices on prescription medications. Company officials said that FamilyWize’s prescription discount card is available to all consumers nationwide, whether they have health insurance or not, and the savings can be substantial. “We use volume leverage to deliver the best possible prescription drug prices,” said Michael Carollo, the company’s director of marketing. “We lower price points on thousands of FDA-approved drugs, which plays out very well for our card users.” Carollo said the program is simple and easy to use. Consumers only have to sign up, which is free and without restrictions, and present the printed card or the mobile app to the pharmacist. By entering their zip code and prescription drug into the “Drug Price Lookup Tool,” consumers will see the prescription drugs they need at the retail outlet with the best possible price in their area, all from their phone, tablet or computer. Thus far, Carollo noted, the program has helped more than 13 million people save upwards of $1.5 billion on their prescription costs. “The result is Americans getting the best possible price on these drugs,” he said. “We have satisfied consumers eager to keep using our program to their advantage.” Retailers benefit, too, Carollo said, noting that most pharmacy personnel enjoy working with FamilyWize because it keeps the consumer happy and returning to their outlet for additional sales. He



quickly added that 100% of all discounts negotiated with retailers are given to the consumer. “With competition increasing so dramatically and online becoming a much larger player in the space, our program helps get the shopper to return to a brick-and-mortar store for their prescription needs,” he said. “We offer value to the retailer as they are faced with both old and new competitors.”

Educating the consumer about FamilyWize is obviously extremely important. The company uses such resources as the United Way, the American Heart Association and Mental Health America to make consumers aware of its services. “The United Way, in particular, has been a tremendous partner in reaching consumers,” Carollo said. “They have really helped us reach the local communities. All of these services help us to spread the word and to make consumers more aware of a service that saves them money.” Teaching retailers is just as important, he said. “Educating our retail pharmacy partners is a major focus of ours,” he said. “It is so helpful when our partners tell and teach their pharmacists and pharmacy technicians that we are available as a resource for their patients. Encouraging their shoppers to use us will help save them money. Most importantly, with these benefits, we believe it will lead to patients becoming more adherent to their prescriptions.” FamilyWize was started in 2005 by Dan and Susan Barnes. According to Carollo, Susan was a nurse who would come home and tell Dan stories of her patients returning for care again and again. “She explained to Dan that many of these patients simply could not afford the prescription medications and thus would not get better,” Carollo said. “They made it their goal to help the local community access more affordable prescriptions.”

FamilyWize’s prescription discount card is available to all consumers nationwide, whether they have health insurance or not, and the savings can be substantial. Carollo said the company, which has about 50 employees including those in its call center, is not standing still on new benefits and programs. “We are always looking for ways to grow our company and to expand our offerings,” he said. “We are launching more ways to help the consumer save and also make it more convenient for them to price compare. We want to consolidate and streamline this process for the consumer.” So what does the future hold for FamilyWize? Carollo is confident that over the next few years the company will continue to be an innovator in the industry, while remaining a loyal partner with retailers. He said some programs are in the pipeline and others are yet to be discovered. “We are proud of the fact that FamilyWize delivers a muchneeded resource,” he said. “The more awareness of our program, the healthier consumers can be. And, for our retail partners: a healthy customer is a happy customer.” dsn

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Putting Patients in the Spotlight Albertsons’ long game has seen it bet big on patient care — and it’s paying off BY DAVID SALAZAR




lbertsons Companies officials realized a long time ago that a focus on patient care could win out. Though the Boise, Idaho-based company — which operates in 35 states across 21 banners — has made its name as a powerhouse in the grocery industry through its acquisition of Safeway, its ownership of meal kit maker Plated and its portfolio of multiple $1 billion private-label brands, the work done by its roughly 1,800 community pharmacies is cementing its place in the lives of its patients and setting it apart as a pharmacy operator. The retailer has managed, in many areas, to take the practice of pharmacy to the next level. Not satisfied at having been the first national chain to roll out pharmacist-administered immunizations and have the first pharmacist prescribe birth control to a patient in Oregon, in 2017, it became the first national chain with pharmacy technicians immunizing patients in Idaho under state law. Collaboration with state boards of pharmacy has kept it on the forefront of pharmacist prescribing capabilities in such states as Washington, California, Colorado, Oregon and Idaho; and a combination of combining pharmacists’ clinical skills with infrastructure from the Safeway merger and its recent MedCart acquisition has led Albertsons to make strides in its specialty pharmacy approach.


For these reasons and more, Albertsons has been named Drug Store News’ 2018 Pharmacy Innovator of the Year. Its pharmacy prowess starts with a strategy based on the role of its stores in its shoppers’ lives. “In many of our markets, we trade in, we have No. 1 or No. 2 market share — we’re very entrenched in our communities,” said Nasri Massaad, vice president of Albertsons’ West region. “The high-level strategy is the same across all our pharmacies — to run strong patient-centric pharmacies, where our pharmacy teams provide personalized wellness experiences to every patient with every interaction, drive more customers to the pharmacy and the store, and convert our grocery shopper into a pharmacy shopper — all making them customers for life.” Integral to this strategy has been leadership that recognizes the value of a pharmacy patient — whether it is a new one or a converted shopper. “It starts with our CEO Bob Miller, and now following him Jim Donald,” said Tom Rousonelos, Albertsons vice president of pharmacy operations. “Bob’s philosophy has been that the pharmacy patient is the most important customer to us for a myriad of reasons — they’re the most loyal, they’re the stickiest and, quite frankly, they spend the most.” As a result, Rousonelos said, the company has developed a threepronged approach to pharmacy and converting grocery shoppers into pharmacy patients — focusing on scripts, standards and service. These aims begin with filling prescriptions, but are largely focused on efforts that go beyond it — both as margin pressures



increase and payers, federal and private, keep their eye on patient outcomes when reimbursing pharmacies. “We’re looking to expand beyond conventional fee-for-service prescription fills. Our big emphasis is on patient care,” Rousonelos said. “We’re a community retail pharmacy. For us, it means we attempt to practice pharmacy like an independent pharmacy does, with a very personalized approach. It also means encouraging our local pharmacists to engage the community, so they have a local pharmacy that can deliver many of the services they need, and they know about the services.” Among the services Albertsons provides, besides a host of immunizations, are medication therapy management, comprehensive medication reviews and travel health offerings undertaken in partnership with a physician to provide both necessary immunizations, oral prescription and OTC medication to name a few. MTM administrator OutcomesMTM has recognized Albertsons as its top large pharmacy chain for nine straight quarters, noting the impact that an Albertsons pharmacist has on optimizing drug therapy. And while payers look at outcomes on such services, executives said that isn’t the main reason these services are integral to its pharmacy offerings. “The way we look at it is, that’s just part of the job, whether you get paid for it or not,” said Mark Panzer, senior vice president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “Looking at the complete medication reviews and medication therapy management — that’s what we should be doing with a patient, making sure they get the best possible outcome based on their medications, their disease state or health condition.”


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2018 PHARMACY INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR: ALBERTSONS Beyond more traditional pharmacist enhanced services, Albertsons works closely with state boards of pharmacy to get in on the ground floor of expanded abilities for its pharmacists. Even before the Idaho law that allowed pharmacists to prescribe urinary tract infections and cold sores treatments, as well as statins for patients with diabetes, Albertsons was working with the board of pharmacy on a pilot that ensured its pharmacists were ready on day one. “When it comes to those types of programs that require some legislative efforts, we work with our local state boards of pharmacy and legislators,” said Nikki Price, director of pharmacy operations at Albertsons’ intermountain region. “We’re really instrumental in helping get those laws passed to allow us to do those services. We see the benefit of being able to service our customers and provide that additional care to them, so they come see us instead of another pharmacy.” The company’s approach to patient care also encompasses specialty pharmacy, an area where it’s been gaining ground, in particular around how and where specialty medications are delivered. Brian Hille, vice president of patient, specialty and wellness, said that while the company does a good portion of mail-order fills around specialty, it also is offering in-store services — from pickup and counseling to the administration of long-acting injectables. It’s another way the chain makes itself a partner to manufacturers, as well as patients.

“Our next phase for some of these medications is what I call community pharmacy augmenting specialty services,” Hille said. “What we offer is specialty pharmacy services for medications, with the ability to send the fill to the community pharmacy so the patient can pick up their specialty medication along with the rest of their community pharmacy medications. This makes their specialty-medication fulfillment the usual rather than the unusual.” All of these patient services position Albertsons for future growth by converting patients in-store, as well as by differentiating itself to managed care partners who can drive new lives into the pharmacies. This long history in pharmacy sets a strong foundation with one repeating lesson. “We’ve learned to keep the sacred relationship between the pharmacist and the patient at the center of everything we do” Panzer said. The company’s size is another driver pushing Albertsons forward, said Dan Salemi, Albertsons group vice president of pharmacy services. “One of the differentiators with us is we’re large enough to have some significant volume and get some interest with manufacturers who want to run a program, and we’re small enough to be nimble to pull it off,” he said. “We’ve got a reputation for executing well, so we’re in the sweet spot of moving quickly and having enough volume and scale to make an impact.” dsn

Congratulations Albertsons Companies for EARNING the 2018 DSN Pharmacy Innovator Award. Your Collaborative Team Vision and Innovative Mindset is “Lighting up the Retail Pharmacy Industry“


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The Empowerment Edge Albertsons has long recognized its pharmacists’ clinical skills and continues to expand them BY DAVID SALAZAR


t the center of Albertsons Companies’ pharmacy strategy is patient care — and at the center of its patient care efforts are pharmacists who have been empowered to put their significant clinical education and skills to work. Executives said the chain realized early on that making sure pharmacists are empowered to provide clinical services and build patient relationships — and thus loyalty — were two sides of the same coin. “The priority is one and the same: to become very accessible to the patient, to remove friction and be able to improve their health care with whatever project we may be able to do,” said Dan Salemi, Albertsons group vice president of pharmacy services. “It drives the incremental sales, which is great, but it also builds that relationship with a patient that is ‘sticky’ and keeps them in our stores. To take care of that patient and be able to differentiate ourselves from our competition is going to pay off in the long run.” Such services as medication therapy management, comprehensive medication reviews, diabetes management and immunizations are a cornerstone of Albertsons’ strategy — and they have been longer than there have been central metrics by which pharmacies are measured, from the perspective of both patients and payers. “What was once ‘my hobby’ is now standard — MTM services is a very standardized service,” said Brian Hille, vice president of patient, specialty and wellness. “We put a huge amount of effort into making sure that our pharmacists can be successful with MTM services. It’s important to show our commitment to our partners that we’re going to do a good job taking care of our patients.” Besides MTM, Albertsons was the first large national chain to offer immunizations in the late 1990s, and since then has made a point of ensuring it stays on the cutting edge of what services its pharmacies can offer. With regard to immunizations, in 2017, due to an Idaho law, Albertsons and Washington State University College of Pharmacy trained the first pharmacy technician in the nation to administer immunizations. In

addition to adding an extra set of hands to the pharmacy, leaving pharmacists with more time for other clinical services, the offering has gotten technicians more invested in the job. “When you go talk to them at the store directly and ask them how it’s going, they absolutely love it,” said Nikki Price, director of pharmacy operations at Albertsons’ intermountain region. “They really take ownership from the initial conversation to after they give the immunization.” Ahead of the tech immunization law being enacted, Albertsons participated in a pilot for the service, an approach it also used this past year when preparing for expanded prescribing authority — treatments for urinary tract infections, cold sores and gaps in care, particularly statins for patients with diabetes — in Idaho to take effect. In both instances, being an early adopter has been a way to set Albertsons’ pharmacists apart through their clinical capabilities. “You want to be on the ground floor because if you’re waiting to see what’s going to happen, you get left behind,” said Mark Panzer, senior vice president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “If you’re the first to be able to test it, you can take advantage of that as a differentiating point with the consumer and the patient.” Another differentiator in which Albertsons was getting in on the ground floor on was administering long-acting injectables, a service that began in Texas roughly seven years ago and has expanded to be a large part of how Albertsons sets its specialty offerings apart. In states where pharmacists can — 20 of the states the company operates in — they administer the drugs in a private consultation room when patients arrive to pick them up. “The direction of travel for therapies in the future is towards long-acting. If you can get one dose once a month or once every three months, that’s fantastic, we just have to solve for the convenience and availability for the patient to receive the administration,” Hille said. So the company built a model in which a prescription goes to Albertsons’ care coordination center in Boise that handles the authorization and affordability, then pushes the prescription to



2018 PHARMACY INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR: ALBERTSONS the community pharmacy for administration. With these drugs, which include osteoporosis, opioid recovery and mental health treatments, being able to go to the local store is more than simply an increased convenience, it improves adherence and persistency as compared with traditional administration in a clinic. “It really improves the convenience and takes the stigma away. Typically you go to a mental health clinic or recovery clinic and there’s a lot of stigma associated with those places. Unfortunately, American society has done that,” Hille said. “Coming into a Safeway, an Albertsons, a Vons, wherever to have this administered, nobody knows the difference.” Albertsons found that when it comes to patients’ acceptance of pharmacistadministered injectables, it sits around 96%, and a meta-analysis found that its patients see a roughly 86% adherence rate, compared with adherence rates between 33% and 54% in other studies. The company has expanded into ventrogluteal injections and is eyeing subcutaneous administration of immunoglobulin to assist patients with transition to selfadministration at home. Key to enabling all of these services, Hille said, has been making sure that a pharmacist’s time is not taken up entirely by administrative duties. “I have this philosophy that I want to keep our pharmacists in the store patient-facing, and not working on administrative work,” he said, and as a result, many of the company’s clinical offerings are outlined for pharmacists through resources they can access before performing the service. “We give them a service outline that tells them how to perform the service and lets them use their education, training and relationships with their patients to change behaviors. In my opinion, that’s how pharmacists improve care,” Hille said. The Albertsons’ approach boils down to leadership realizing that its pharmacists are the key to improving patient care and to setting the chain apart from competitors. “We look at scope of practice, and we look at anything that’s innovative and ask, ‘How do we be the first to market?’ You jump on those opportunities not because you’re going to be first and it’ll generate sales, but because it’s good patient care” Panzer said. “Pharmacists went to school for clinical outcomes and they have great clinical skills, so why not utilize them?” dsn



A Personal Approach to Specialty As more specialty medications are approved, and as they eat up more of healthcare spending, companies are faced with the dual need to offer these drugs — some of whose distribution is limited — and contain the costs. Albertsons Companies has taken that dual goal and added a few of its own — delivering on convenience through its network of roughly 1,800 pharmacies. One of the areas Albertsons pioneered is its now ACHC- and URAC-accredited specialty approach that has been through its pharmacists being able to administer long-acting injectables to patients in 20 of the states it operates in. That required the company to build a model that facilitated seamless communication from the prescriber to its Boise, Idaho-based care coordination center, which in turn communicates with pharmacies and its two fulfillment centers — MedCart in Livonia, Mich., and another in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. — or any in-store pharmacy. “Through the process of connecting specialty to the community pharmacies, we found that there are a lot of other opportunities where that model of care can be applied to a whole host of additional medications,” said Brian Hille, Albertsons vice president of patient, specialty and wellness. In particular, manufacturers that want to build more support into their delivery channel, including such reimbursement support as benefits verification, prior authorization and co-pay assistance all can be done in this model. Then a patient picks up the specialty medication at any of its roughly 1,800 community pharmacies. “The community pharmacy fills a prescription that’s fully supported by the centralized specialty pharmacy team, just like the care provided by traditional specialty pharmacy today, but it doesn’t go to the fulfillment center and ship to the patient’s home,” Erin Shaal, director of specialty care said. “Actually, we’ve seen some significant advantage with patients picking up their specialty medication at our community pharmacies. Utilizing community pharmacy is just a lower cost, more personal approach, with the opportunity to provide patients face-to-face services.” Building out specialty is key to a strong pharmacy offering, said Mark Panzer, Albertsons senior vice president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “That’s where the growth is going to be as far as taking care of patients, as well as the companion script that comes along with it,” Panzer said. “Having the correct patient care protocols and having the relationship with that patient, their doctor and their healthcare group is important.” — David Salazar


Giving Graduates an Edge Joint PharmD/MBA programs offer students a differentiating factor By Sandra Levy

As many as 72 schools, including the University of Buffalo, whose dual-degree students are pictured, will offer a dual PharmD/MBA program in 2018 and 2019 to prepare students for leadership positions in retail pharmacy, managed care, hospitals and pharmaceutical firms.


hen Gregory Wellman graduated in 1982 from Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, Mich., pharmacy schools were bestowing just a bachelor in pharmacy degree. Wellman went on to the Ohio State University and earned a master’s degree and a residency as a way to obtain management training. Fast forward to 2018: Wellman is a professor of pharmacy at Ferris State University College of Pharmacy, where he co-launched



a dual PharmD/MBA concurrent program. Wellman believes that today a PharmD/ MBA degree is essential in preparing students for leadership positions in a wide variety of industries, including retail chain pharmacy, managed care, hospitals and pharmaceutical firms. “Any of the principles that are part of business apply to being a pharmacist,” Wellman said. “We need to be a financial manager, a human resources manager and an operations manager since there are

a lot of legal and regulatory components, because we work in complex medication distribution systems.” Pharmacists also have responsibility to oversee pharmacy techs, which Wellman said means pharmacists need to understand labor laws and different aspects of managing employees equitably. To be sure, the new crop of pharmacy students need more than just clinical expertise, thanks to changes in reimbursement models and the expansion by many pharmacy retail


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PHARMACY | SCHOOL chains into health centers and clinics. Pharmacy schools are realizing that the traditional business overviews they provide students is simply not enough, and they are stepping up to the plate offering dual PharmD/MBA programs. In fact, in 2008, just 33 pharmacy schools offered a dual PharmD/MBA program. In 2013, that number rose to 46, and in 2019, 72 schools will offer this option, according to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Students thinking about obtaining a dual degree may be hesitant about putting off their pharmacy career for more education, but many schools enable students to obtain two degrees in less time than it would take to obtain each degree separately. For example, most of the MBA courses at Ferris are offered online, so students can complete the MBA during the four years that they are in the PharmD program. The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy also has a dual-degree program that offers many MBA courses online. Some students take courses in the summer, so it’s possible to complete both degrees in four years, according to Janet Engle, professor at the department of pharmacy practice and senior associate dean

for professional and international affairs at UIC College of Pharmacy. Last spring, the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy in Athens, Ga., launched a PharmD/MBA program, which has students attending pharmacy school for the first two years, the business school for one year, followed by one additional year in pharmacy school. The University of Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the School of Management has a five-year PharmD/MBA program that enables students to get their MBA in one year. The program currently has 32 students enrolled in various levels. “The MBA offers an understanding of the business and financial aspects of pharmacy practice. Pharmacists run reports, but may have no idea what people do with those numbers, other than tracking results,” said Matthew Perri, director of the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy’s PharmD/ MBA program and associate head and director of clinical and administrative pharmacy. “They will learn how report metrics are used in strategic planning and business analysis, and how the data we generate can impact both day-to-day decision-making and strategic decision-making. The data includes

everything from inventory control to script counts, to the number of patients you gave flu shots to last year, to quality indicators.” Pharmacists also are increasingly being relied upon to look at processes, to understand quality management and to provide guidance on how to improve systems for greater efficiency and safety. “This takes many skills that go beyond clinical pharmacy practice, including managing a pharmacy. Managers must constantly be in the position to be able to give feedback and look for opportunities for improvement,” Perri said. Management positions also entail being able to understand billing contracts. “You have to be able to converse in accounting and finance language, you have to do contract management and contract negotiations. I needed to be able to read and understand billing contracts with group purchasing organizations and pharmaceutical companies,” Wellman said. Karl Fiebelkorn, senior associate dean at the University of Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, said, “The addition of the MBA gives the students the knowledge in resource management, inventory, finance, marketing, and dealing with clients, as well as employees.”

Knowing from Experience

Susan NovotnyCannata


When Susan Novotny-Cannata graduated from the University of Buffalo School of Pharmacy with a bachelor of science degree in 1991, she took a year off and then went for her master of business administration degree. Because she was a part-time student, it took her four years to obtain her MBA. Although Novotny-Cannata didn’t get her dual degree concurrently, she epitomized why attaining a PharmD and an MBA is a win-win situation for students and their employers. Novotny-Cannata is the pharmacy operations manager at Wegmans Pharmacy in Buffalo, N.Y., and Erie, Pa., divisions. She is responsible for managing 13 stores and 75 pharmacists. Seven of her colleagues hold the same position within the company. “I was always interested in the management part of the business,” she said. “In pharmacy school, it was 100% focused on pharmacy and the clinical aspects of the health sciences. I always knew I loved


pharmacy and being a pharmacist. I knew I wanted to know more about not only the pharmacy business and healthcare business, but business management in general. Getting an MBA gave me the business acumen and skills for leadership and advancement. It was the best of both worlds that collided.” Although Wegmans — where she has worked for 27 years — didn’t require that she have an MBA, she said, “It certainly gave me skills in leadership and management to advance to that position more easily than others.” After a year as a staff pharmacist, she was promoted into pharmacy management. “I always had a desire to manage and lead people. Taking the dual degree gave me two different views, the health sciences discipline of being a pharmacist and the business knowledge on how to manage a pharmacy,” she said. — Sandra Levy




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PHARMACY | SCHOOL He said the UB School of Management offers a set of electives called LeaderCORE, which focuses on polishing students’ business skills. The program also helps students to anticipate issues and problems of entrepreunership and to understand finances, such as how much money they have to borrow to open and run their own pharmacy. Knowing how to run a pharmacy efficiently and cost-effectively is another crucial role retail pharmacists are tasked with. Noting that many chain regional supervisors oversee some 20-to-30 pharmacies, Fiebelkorn said, “When students obtain the MBA, it opens their eyes to where to cut costs and save money in the pharmacy. An MBA teaches you efficiency. Saving seconds add up to minutes, which add up to saving hours.” Obtaining a dual degree gives students an edge in the job market. Indeed, as more pharmacy schools opened their doors over the past few decades, employers have had more students to choose from. According to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacies, 14,502 PharmD degrees were conferred in 2017, up from 10,500 in 2008. Students understandably are looking to differentiate themselves in this fiercely competitive market, and they also are vying for higher-level opportunities early in their careers. A 2017 study in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, which surveyed combined pharmacy/MBA professionals, found that 85% of respondents believed that a combined degree helped in career advancement, and 90% said it made them more competitive in the job market. Pointing out that chain-level executives have told the pharmacy school that many students don’t have enough management training, Perri said. “The MBA will fill that void. It creates opportunity for advancement, and it will give you better skills to do a job better on a day-to-day basis from a business perspective,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for our students to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and have skills that will be super helpful to them no matter what area of pharmacy they enter.” dsn



University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy students

Students Seek Broader Knowledge Base It used to be that top-notch clinical skills would ensure pharmacy graduates land a high-paying job in retail pharmacy. Yet times have changed. Faced with fierce competition and new models of reimbursement for value-based outcomes, retail pharmacies are looking more closely at pharmacists’ curriculum vitae. Pharmacy grads who also have attained business, technology and leadership skills are likely to have the upper hand. Realizing that many pharmacy students want to gain business acumen, but are unsure about whether they want to get an MBA, led the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy to create a Pharmacy Operations and Technology Management concentration Launched last spring through a partnership with the Wisconsin School of Business’s Erdman Center for Operations and Technology Management, the program enables its PharmD students to devote 12 credits to business electives. Their clinical rotations are business-focused in healthcare management and leadership. In the fourth year of the program, students do a leadership rotation in the community for six weeks. “With so many pharmacy career paths that require business skills and the growing interest in entrepreneurship, our PharmD students can access essential business training without adding additional time to get their degree, and they still graduate in four years in the PharmD program,” Ed Portillo, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy, who is leading the new concentration. Noting that research has shown that 70% of pharmacy managers and those in pharmacy leadership roles are expected to retire in the next 10 years, Portillo said the program helps prepare students to lead. “The students can go right into high-level leadership positions, and they’ll have the background to drive change in those positions,” he said. They’ll be in a position to do innovative work very early in their career and improve patient outcomes. Miranda Kozlicki, a third-year PharmD student enrolled in the concentration, said she wanted to get more specialized training in healthcare leadership and management. “I have the opportunity to work with MBA students that have a wide variety of backgrounds outside of pharmacy, where we focus on how we can provide value to businesses and the patients we serve,” Kozlicki said. — Sandra Levy






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Janssen Receives FDA Green Light for New Invokana Indication Janssen Pharmaceuticals has received the

Food and Drug Administration’s clearance for Invokana, or canagliflozin, to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events, including heart attack, stroke or death due to a cardiovascular cause in adults with Type 2 diabetes who have established cardiovascular disease.

“This FDA approval makes Invokana the only oral Type 2 diabetes treatment indicated to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke or [cardiovascular] death. It is an important step forward for patients and the physicians who treat them,” said James List, Janssen’s research and development global therapeutic area head of cardiovascular and metabolism. “Not only does Invokana enable patients to control their diabetes symptoms by lowering their A1C levels, but it now also helps protect them from potentially devastating cardiovascular events.” The new indication also applies to the fixed-dose combinations of Invokamet, or canagliflozin/metformin HCl, tablets and Invokamet XR, or canagliflozin/metformin HCl, extended-release tablets.

Glenmark Obtains FDA’s Approval for Generic Aubagio Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has received the Food and Drug Administration’s approval for teriflunomide tablets in 7-mg and 14-mg

dosage strengths. The product is a generic version of Sanofi-Aventis’ Aubagio tablets 7 mg and 14 mg. It is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. Aubagio tablets 7 mg and 14 mg had a market value of approximately $1.6 billion for the 12-month period ended September 2018, according to IQVIA data.



FDA Approves Coherus BioSciences’ Biosimilar of Neulasta Coherus BioSciences has received the FDA’s clearance for Udenyca, which is a

biosimilar of Amgen’s Neulasta. It is the first pegfilgrastim biosimilar approved by the FDA and the European Commission for

patients with cancer receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy, the company said. Udenyca is a PEGylated growth colonystimulating factor indicated to decrease the incidence of infection, as manifested by febrile neutropenia, in patients with nonmyeloid malignancies receiving myelosuppressive anticancer drugs associated with a clinically significant incidence of febrile neutropenia. “The list price of Neulasta has nearly tripled since approval in 2002, and now represents a $4 billion annual cost burden in the United States. We believe that competition is essential in controlling burdensome price increases, and Udenyca will play an important role in curbing that spend when launched,” said Denny Lanfear, Coherus BioSciences chairman and CEO. “Our in-depth understanding of the market will allow us to deliver significant value to patients, payers and providers in the United States, including 340 billion hospitals, small clinics and small hospitals.”




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On Their Own Two Feet Foot care manufacturers look to enable self-care, educate consumers By Sandy Levy


ore and more consumers with foot pain or discomfort are bypassing the doctor’s office and looking to self-treat their problems. Yet, often, when they get to the foot care aisle, many do not know which product will offer the best relief. That’s why companies seeking to gain a foothold in this market, which market research firm IRI pegged at being around $1.2 billion between devices, antifungal medications and other foot care products, including creams and powders in U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 7, have been focusing on eliminating the guesswork for consumers. Increasing consumer engagement at the point-of-purchase and providing more education about products on packaging are two strategies foot care suppliers are betting on. As in other categories where consumers are demanding more bang for the buck, manufacturers also are responding by offering a wider selection of products they claim are comparable to custom products at lower price points. One player vying to gain traction in the market is Brewster, N.Y.-based PediFix. Chief marketing officer Christopher Case noted that foot care as a category is being driven by an aging population that is prone to foot problems and one that is embracing self-treatments. Case said this offers an opportunity for retailers to sell more foot care products, particularly as foot doctors who sold products in their practice join hospitals where they can’t dispense many of these products. Offering products that provide easy application and removal is one of the ways manufacturers are responding to consumers who self-treat. PediFix recently innovated with plantar fasciitis relief self-adhesive strips. “We took



the exact product we sold to the medical industry for many years, and we put it in OTC packaging,” Case said. Another PediFix entry is a self-perforated silicone tape on a dispensing roll used to protect blisters, corns and calluses. It has a gentle, easy release mechanism that peels off, so it doesn’t cause discomfort, Case said. PediFix also created a 25-count package of foot-cleaning wipes that contain tea tree oil and peppermint oil for consumers who find a shower inconvenient or inaccessible. Following a similar path when it comes to focusing on innovative formulations that are convenient to use is O’Keeffe’s, the foot care brand of Cincinnati-based Gorilla Glue. O’Keeffe’s is known for its green jars of therapeutic hand cream for extremely dry, cracked skin, but has expanded into the foot care segment with a formulation that comes in a jar, as well as in a tube. The tube formulation enables consumers to easily apply the cream without having to screw on a lid, and they don’t have to be concerned that they are contaminating the product as they would when applying cream from a jar. “We realized that a similar formulation and product would be good for people who have skin issues with their feet, particularly diabetics who have cracks in the skin on their feet,” said Kevin Namaky, O’Keeffe’s associate director. Baby Foot USA, based in Springfield, Mo., also is focusing on providing consumers with convenience and ease of use with its lavender-scented Baby Foot Exfoliation Foot Peel, which features 3-D prefilled booties that remove dead skin cells. The one-hour treatment contains 16 natural extracts, glycolic and lactic acids. Kim Webb, Baby Foot director of channel sales, said Baby Foot appeals to millennials, who are starting to care for their feet

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HEALTH | FOOT CARE and getting pedicures at an early age. “They also enjoy the ‘peeling’ process,” Webb said. Baby Foot also has an Exfoliation Foot Peel for men that comes in a mint scent with 3-D booties that fit up to men’s size 14.

Right Product, Right Package

Among other efforts, manufacturers are revamping their packaging to provide consumers with the opportunity to engage with their products. PediFix offers a recyclable plastic clam shell, which enables consumers to open the package, inspect and touch the item, and reseal the package so it’s still in good condition to be sold if they don’t buy it. Pointing out that consumers may be overwhelmed by all of the choices in the foot care aisle, Case said the company always had a silver foot on its packaging and text explaining what the product is. “We added red pain circles to the specific area of the foot that the product applies to,” Case said. “Consumers can quickly scan the different packages and see if the product is designed for their condition.” Daniel Feldman, president and chief operating officer of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Profoot agrees that innovative products and packaging that provide consumer engagement are crucial in the market. Emphasizing that brick-and-mortar retailers face challenges, Feldman believes that they have a massive advantage in the foot care market over online retailers. “Having an entire planogram of foot care products in front of consumers is critical, and having engagement with customers is

critical versus the more linear approach of online shopping,” Feldman said. Feldman also noted that almost all customers buying insoles and inserts want to touch and feel the item. “Amazon hasn’t figured out how to do this. We’ve taken steps to further enhance that customer interaction and that level of personal customer engagement by making our products even more accessible to the customer by having more touchpoints on the package. That’s critical and it helps improve sales,” he said.

Innovation Destination

Manufacturers are pulling out all the stops to make sure the mix contains products that provide solutions pronto. O’Keeffe’s recently introduced Exfoliating Moisturizing Foot Lotion, is intended to give consumers a smoother feel to their skin noticeably faster than the brand’s original foot cream, Namaky said. Looking to deliver on the need to offer a speedy solution to consumers, Miami Beach, Fla.-based Footcare Express’ managing director and a certified pedorthist, agreed that time is of the essence for consumers. Reinhartz created an off-the-shelf product line called Insite Insoles, which are available in soft, medium and firm support. “Insite Insoles offer a quicker fix. Consumers don’t have to spend time having their feet measured as they do for custom insoles,” he said. Manufacturers also are paying close attention to the fact that shoppers are looking for the lowest prices. Noting that Insite Insoles retail from $30 to $90, Reinhartz

said, “It is a more affordable high-end product that might yield similar results as a custom orthotic. It’s attractive, especially when consumers are looking to save money. Custom orthotics can be very expensive.” Retailers that carry affordable products previously available only to the professional market will boost their bottom line, Case said, providing the example of PediFix’s Professional Nail Cutter, which wholesales for $30 and retails for $50 to $60. “It gives pharmacies the opportunity to have a high ring on a high quality professionally developed product,”PediFix’s Case said. Feldman believes innovation will continue to drive the market. “We know with our 30-plus years of experience, the only way to grow the category is through innovation. Retailers are coming back to the idea of multiple brands and stockpiling innovation as opposed to additional privatelabel SKUs. That’s a welcome change, and I think it will bear fruit,” he said. dsn

Making Foot Care Experiential Retailers that want to offer customers orthotics have the opportunity to tap into such growing trends as 3-D foot scanning and data capture. Teaneck, N.J.-based Aetrex Worldwide, which markets a variety of orthotics, including Aetrex Premium Memory Foam, offers retailers the Aetrex Albert 3D Foot Scanner. The intelligent system can provide customers with information about their feet in a 3-D format, including size, pressure and arch type, in less than one minute. Upon scanning one’s foot, the Albert Operating System, gives customers orthotic solutions distinct to their foot profile. “The program creates a unique, theater-like experience in store that can’t



be replicated online, keeping customers engaged and in the store longer,” said Aetrex CEO Larry Schwartz. The Albert OS also captures such unique customer data as individual foot profiles and footwear preferences, which retailers can use to improve inventory data and reduce e-commerce returns. It also prompts customers to provide their email address, which can build loyalty, Schwartz said. “Within the foot care space, we see the most innovation with technology — from foot scanners that can capture more data than before to orthotic line extensions that can offer more effective solutions for the consumer,” Schwartz said.


Primatene Mist Gets OTC Reintroduction Amphastar Pharmaceuticals

is bringing its Primatene Mist back to OTC aisles. The Food and Drug Administration approved the product, making it the only agency-cleared nonprescription asthma inhaler in the United States.

It is indicated to temporarily relieve mild symptoms of asthma in patients age 12 years old and older. The metered-dose inhaler previously had been taken off the market because it contained chlorofluorocarbon propellants. The new CFCfree version uses hydrofluoroalkane propellants and uses the same active ingredient, epinephrine, as the original Primatene Mist. It also features a built-in spray indicator and a metal canister that replaces the glass container used in the original Primatene Mist. “We are very happy to have received FDA approval for Primatene Mist and are proud to bring this

important product back to the over-the-counter market in the United States,” said Amphaster CEO Jack Zhang. “We are grateful to the FDA team for working closely with us to make this approval possible, recognizing the important role of OTC bronchodilator drugs such as Primatene Mist.” FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Center for Drug Evaluation and Research director Janet Woodcock noted at the time of approval that the product comes with updated instructions, is not meant to replace a patient’s current treatment, nor meant to treat anything other than mild asthma, and should be used in consultation with a physician. Amphastar said that Primatene Mist would be available in major drug stores in the United States starting in early 2019.

Red Fortera Expands Offerings

Quest Products Brings New ProVent Products to Shelves Quest Products is bringing two new products to market under its ProVent brand.

The Pleasant Prairie, Wis.-based company has introduced the ProVent Hemp Patch for pain relief and ProVent Wart Remover with natural botanicals. The hemp patch works by releasing Hotact and small amounts of hemp into the skin, soothing muscle pain and stiffness through motion-activated heat technology, the company said. The patch is meant to relieve pain from swelling, inflammation and arthritis. “The medical community has started to recognize the benefits of hemp for relieving pain,” said Mark McGreevy, vice president of business development at Quest Products. “This is one of the first hemp patch products on the market, and we’re excited to offer a new pain relief option to people who need it.” The wart remover is meant as a daily topical application to the skin. Results can be seen within a few weeks of daily use, the company said. It uses natural ingredients and botanical extracts to fight warts. Both products join the existing ProVent line, which includes remedies for motion sickness, vertigo, skin tags, psoriasis and other ailments.

Red Fortera, a supplement meant for male

enhancement, has introduced two new offerings as brand extensions. The brand launched a single-serving package, as well as a two-pack “Power Box,” both of which are being rolled out nationwide. The expansion comes as Red Fortera maker Next Gen Health Solutions has undertaken a rebranding, with officials unveiling its new name — Fortera Nutra Solutions. The Morganville, N.J.-based company said Red Fortera is meant to be taken 30 minutes before sexual intimacy, and that an independent clinical trial found it to improve arousal and erection quality. Currently, Red Fortera is sold at Walgreens — in-store and online — Vitamin Shoppe, Amazon, Jet.com, Overstock and Walmart.com. Company officials said it ranks in the top five products in its category on Amazon.



Chipped Nails While the category struggles, manufacturers still see opportunity with innovative products By Nora Caley


he nail care category has been showing a slightly dull finish lately. Though it might seem that the at-home manicure and pedicure market should be thriving, as polishing one’s nails is a small, fun indulgence that is easier than making an appointment at a nail salon, and less expensive. It also is a great way to try new nail polish colors and nail accessories, of which there are plenty as manufacturers introduce new ways to make nails dazzle. However, the nail care category has stalled. According to Mintel, in its “Nail Color and Care – U.S. January 2018” report, sales of nail color and care products have been on the decline since 2014 and are expected to decrease through 2022,“as nail products aren’t currently on-trend.” That seems counterintuitive as consumer confidence is high, a factor that usually translates to increased sales. Even salon visits are stagnant, Mintel reported, because women are generally spending less time and money on their nails. As for reasons for the slowdown, Mintel pointed to consumers’ increased worry about the effects of frequent polishing and chemicals used in nail products. On the bright side, demand for other items, including such restorative products as nail treatments, skin care-related items, and even vitamins and other solutions exist. Another area manufacturers should tap into, the



NAIL CARE report said, is in products that appeal to Hispanic women, who over-index in specialeffect polish and nail art accessories. “While the current nail color and care market is suffering from the cyclical nature of trends, there are still opportunities to innovate in the category and boost engagement,” the report authors wrote.

Premium Is Still Strong

A number of manufacturers said certain segments within nail care are performing well as women are looking for specific features in the category. “Artificial/fashion nails continue to post double-digit sales increases,” said Annette DeVita-Goldstein, senior vice president of global marketing at Port Washington, N.Y.-based Kiss Products. “This is in sharp contrast to ongoing declines in traditional nail polish.” DeVita-Goldstein added that women are seeking new and convenient ways to have beautiful nails. “High-design nails are the big trend. This feeds into the women’s desire for individuality, self-expression and a little more boldness with their beauty routines,” she said. To answer this demand, Kiss is expanding its flagship brand imPRESS, which offers a one-step press-on gel manicure. The brand is launching a new formula and design upgrade with its new Ultra Fit Design, which the company said is a slimmer yet stronger nail. The new imPRESS looks more natural, hugs the natural nail, and is designed to be comfortable to wear. Also new is the imPRESS pedicure, a press-on product that enables the user to have a pedicure in minutes. Kiss also is launching Masterpiece, a premium fashion nail brand. The company said the line offers the most sophisticated

A number of manufacturers said certain segments within nail care are performing well as women are looking for specific features in the category. 44


high-fashion nails in the super trendy coffin and stiletto lengths. Each nail kit features 30 nails and 12 accent nails, showcasing intricate luxe designs and effects. Each kit also offers the option to apply the nails either with glue for a longer wear or adhesive tabs for shorter-term wear. The trends are driven by consumers’ desire to experiment. “Newness in design, effects, function, application and overall innovation will continue to be a growth engine in beauty and in nail care in particular,” DeVita-Goldstein said. “As the DIY trend remains strong, providing women the ability to deliver professional results at home and no longer outsource their beauty routines is certainly a key trend we see continuing for the next few years.”

Other Trends

According to Nielsen, during the 12-month period ended Sept. 22, health and beauty care overall had 2% dollar growth and 0.2% volume growth across total U.S. outlets combined. That 2% all-outlet growth for health and beauty equates to an increase of $1.6 billion in revenue compared with

the same period the previous year. However, the story in grocery and drug is a bit less rosy. Also, according to Nielsen, health and beauty care have seen unit volume declines of 1% across U.S. grocery stores and 2% across drug stores. Nielsen attributed the decline to consumers’ greater reliance on such value channels as dollar, club and mass merchandise for health and beauty products. Cosmetics and nail grooming struggled to find growth, the report said. One related area that is showing strength is vitamins connected to nail care and other beauty categories. Perfectil, a brand from the U.K., recently made its U.S. debut in Walgreens. The beauty vitamin announced in September that supermodel and TV personality Heidi Klum will serve as its U.S. brand ambassador. Perfectil, which is made by Vitabiotics, is available in Perfectil Original, Perfectil Plus Skin, Perfectil Plus Hair, Perfectil Plus Nails and Perfectil Max. Perfectil Plus Nails contains extra selenium, which the company said contributes to the maintenance of normal nails; copper, which contributes to the maintenance of normal connective tissue; horsetail botanical extract, or equisetum arvense L., which is a natural source of silica; and methyl sulphonyl methane, which provides sulfur, an important nutrient found in the outer layer of the skin, hair and nails. “It’s been a great start gaining distribution in over 6,500 stores nationwide with our brand Perfectil,” Perfectil/Vitabiotics CEO Tej Lalvani said of the Walgreens launch. “It’s an exciting time as we begin to ramp up our cross-channel marketing program nationally.” Lalvani added that the brand is very on-trend right now as consumers have health and wellness on their minds. “Consumers are looking for supplements that are credible and have the latest scientific ingredients backing the formulation, while being an easy addition into their lifestyles,” he said. Retailers can succeed in the category by bringing in innovative products. “Retailers and suppliers need to work together to provide the right customer experience in store, while communicating brand values and product unique selling propositions.” dsn

NAIL CARE PRODUCTS Kokie Available in Rite Aid Stores Rite Aid recently announced that it is stocking Kokie Cosmetics products at 2,300 of its stores nationwide. Kokie, which derives its name from the Korean word for elephant, is an up-and-coming full-line cosmetic brand that makes cruelty-free products. Among the nail polish colors in the Kokie lineup are Bewitching, Georgia Peach, Vintage, Grey Area, Drama Queen and others. The company, launched in 2015, also offers items for eyes, face and lips, as well as tools and accessories.

Belk Adds Holiday Products To New Line In September, Belk launched Belk Beauty, which the company said is inspired by the brand’s southern roots. Belk added several items to the line for the holidays, including stocking stuffers and box sets in festive packaging. For nails, the new Glitter & Gloss Duet is a shimmery nail polish and glitzy lip gloss.

Essie Launches Three Nail Polish Collections Essie’s new Gel Couture Sheer Silhouettes are available in six new polishes that add to the brand’s palette of gel couture colors. These soft, see-through hues feature Essie’s signature white cap embellished with a silver lace décor. The six shades have a lingerie theme, with Lace Is More, Sheer Silhouette, Of Corset, Gossamer Garments, Bodice Goddess and Last Nightie. Essie’s new sheer silhouettes and full Gel Couture range are applied as part of a two-step system for long-wearing, high-gloss shine that stands up to everyday wear. Step one: Apply two coats of color for perfect coverage. Step two: Seal it with Essie Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat, which is sold separately, for high-gloss and gel-like shine without a base coat. Essie’s new Concrete Glitters collection features six limited-edition shades with an urban street style theme. The crushed crystal polishes have a matte texture similar to concrete. Essie’s Concrete Glitters collection is available in Stay Up Slate, Venture to the Venue, Beat of the Moment, Can’t Stop Her in Copper, City Slicke, and Night Owl. Designed with Essie global color designer Rebecca Minkoff, Essie’s Limited-Edition Winter 2018 calls to mind a wintry wonderland and cosmic hues in rich creams, shimmers and metallics. The shades are Polar-izing, Just the Way You Arctic, Glow With the Flow, Million Mile Hues, Nightlights, and Hear Me Aurora.




Let’s Rethink Generations in 2019 Retailers should reevaluate perceptions about consumers By David Orgel

T 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.


here’s a generation gap that could get bigger in 2019. It’s not about disagreements between different age groups. Rather, it’s a gap in terms of how generations are perceived versus the reality. This is a crucial topic for retailers because they have worked hard to understand shoppers. However, there’s a temptation to make broad assumptions about how shoppers will act based on generational trends. Those insights only go so far. They can be too general, and often don’t account for ongoing consumer behavior shifts. This will become a bigger concern as we move into 2019. That’s because retailers increasingly are counting on personalization strategies to address individual customer needs. Technology will enable personalization more and more. Nevertheless, getting to that point will be challenging if we’re relying on outdated assumptions about consumers and generations. Recent consumer research from the Food Marketing Institute helps to underscore how quickly consumers are changing, and why we need to stay on top of generational realities. The findings are relevant to many types of retail channels. Here are a few key examples based on FMI’s “2018 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends Report:” • Online shopping: If you think millennials lead the charge for growth in online shopping, you’d be right. That is, until now. Gen Xers and older consumers are driving growth for the first time, according to the report. It’s important to adjust thinking to realize how this trend is broadening to older generations. It’s likely that millennial behaviors have influenced older shoppers, who are taking the ball and running with it. • Transparency: There’s a general assumption that younger consumers are the most interested in transparency. Yet, the report data shows that baby boomers and Gen Xers also demand it from retailers and brands. In fact, these older shoppers are the most focused on at least one aspect of transparency: how honest and open companies


are about business practices. The fact is, consumers across generations and other demographic markers are interested in transparency. This was corroborated by earlier industry research. “In this information age, consumers expect they should be able to find anything,” said David Fikes, FMI’s vice president of communications and community/ consumer affairs. “Maybe this has been led by millennials, but everyone is adapting.” • Checkout experience: I tend to think younger shoppers are the ones populating store self-checkout lines, while older folks are willing to wait for cashiers. Yet, that assumption isn’t true. Shoppers are prioritizing easy checkout, including through self checkout or smartphone assistance, according to the report data. Consider that even matures, the oldest generation measured, have jumped on the self-checkout bandwagon. I recently came across a clever way of looking at the generational topic. FMI’s Melaina Lewis, the association’s manager of communications, wrote a blog post called “I’m a 25-Year-Old-GroceryShopping Boomer?” The piece leverages gamification with a chart that takes readers through a number of questions and steps to determine, “Do you grocery shop like your generation?” The answers are calculated using the report’s data and insights. In Lewis’ case, she has shopped more like a baby boomer over the past year, compared with the millennial she is. That’s because her preference is to grocery shop in stores rather than online, even as she makes use of grocery store apps. This lines up with typical boomer patterns. The point is that consumers do not always walk in step with their own generations. That’s why we should resolve to rethink generational perceptions in the coming year. This requires digging deeper into consumer data and better understanding which insights are relevant, and which aren’t. The best approach is to combine generational insights with more segmented or personalized data. Retailers will find this to be a competitive differentiator. It will keep the focus on generations — not generalizations. dsn


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