McKesson ideaShare 2012 kicks off with a bang

LAS VEGAS — Day one here at McKesson ideaShare 2012 and the thousands of independent pharmacists and pharmacy owners from all across the country who convened here Monday, at the Las Vegas’ Venetian Resort, looking for business-building solutions and industry to help them stay relevant and differentiate themselves with their customers and patients, were not disappointed.

“By bringing together owners and leaders from across the country to share ideas and best practices, McKesson is helping community pharmacy owners and pharmacists achieve better business health and better patient care, in addition to better connecting them with their communities” said Brian Tyler, president of McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical. “McKesson fully believes in the future of community pharmacy, and ideaShare is one of the best opportunities for us to engage with our customers to understand their growth goals and specific needs.”

Indeed, McKesson ideaShare 2012 kicked off with a very BIG bang, with a heightened focus around several key areas, including:

• Growing the pharmacy patient base:
Retail independent pharmacy owners who do not have the advertising budget of a chain drug store are implementing business tools such as the Physician Outreach Program (POP) that allow them to identify and promote their unique capabilities to prescribers and patients. POP — which launched last year to Health Mart pharmacies — is now available to all McKesson independent and regional retail customers. Independent pharmacies looking to connect with the broader healthcare team in their communities and seize new opportunities to attract new patients can now access more than 1 million prescriber records to tailor their marketing strategies.

“McKesson’s Physician Outreach Program gives our pharmacy a clear-cut approach for who we need to target and who we need to have a business relationship with in the community,” said Snehal Patel, PharmD, Health Shoppe Pharmacy, East Brunswick, N.J. “In the past we always worried about taking care of the patient, thinking the rest will follow. Now we know it isn't just about the patient — we have to fit in the triad of care of physicians, patients and pharmacists. This program allows us to do that.”

• Growing the pharmacy future: According to the National Community Pharmacists Association, after decades of declining numbers, independently owned community pharmacies are on the rebound, and growing in strength. McKesson’s RxOwnership program, dedicated to providing independent pharmacy owners, prospective owners and pharmacy students with the tools to help them map out their future, supported 288 startups in its fiscal year 2012.

“Every pharmacist has a different future in mind when it comes to their business goals,” said Bob Graul, national VP McKesson RxOwnership. “From considering pharmacy ownership to expanding to multiple locations to exiting the market, pharmacists can benefit from our experienced advisers, in addition to our one-of-a-kind tools that help guide them through the ownership or succession planning process.”

• Growing the pharmacy business: Health Mart continues to invest in solutions that help its franchisees attract new customers, maximize the value of their existing customers and increase their efficiency so they can grow their businesses. Among the major advancements and new offerings it has introduced in the last 12 months, Health Mart has completed the roll out of its comprehensive line of private-label over-the-counter healthcare products; launched a consumer-facing online platform, Your Pharmacy Online; revamped its Health Mart Marketing Tool Kit; and modernized its pharmacy store design. Health Mart currently numbers 3,000 stores across the country, and is quickly becoming the franchise model of choice for independent pharmacy owners looking to complement their local identity with a national brand, McKesson noted.

For more information on all of McKesson's announcements from McKesson ideaShare 2012, please visit McKesson's online newsroom at www.mckesson.com/newsroom.