When you think of “point of care”, images of a physician’s waiting/exam rooms are traditionally evoked; pharmacy may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But it certainly qualifies as a point of care in the ways that matter the most: presence of a healthcare provider in the form of a pharmacist (or a nurse practitioner/physician assistant, if the pharmacy has a clinic) along with actual delivery of health services. Examples of the ways that pharmacy has transformed itself into a bona fide Point of Care channel are seemingly endless. Only a few years ago, immunizations were within the exclusive purview of the doctor’s office. Nowadays, you can get your flu shot at your local pharmacy (and pick up a bottle of aspirin, some cough drops, or a week’s worth of groceries while you’re at it). Other resources have become routinely available as well in the pharmacy setting: wellness events, blood pressure monitoring, and diabetes screening. Retail-based clinics are growing in number and provide a wide variety of services, everything from camp physicals to treatment of minor illnesses. Some retailers are even installing kiosks where consumers can monitor their heart rate, BMI, vision, and total body composition. These efforts are translating into increased shopper traffic and are changing perceptions about how, where, and by whom healthcare should be delivered.
As a pharma marketer considers the stages that people go through on their way to a treatment decision, pharmacy’s additional value component becomes clear: it is a setting that’s conducive to providing information and education. For pharmaceutical companies, this information is most useful when it is delivered at the consumer’s healthcare “mindset moment”: they’re in the search-mode, they’re motivated to take action of some kind, and they are willing to focus attention on information they perceive as valuable.
Speaking of point of care, be sure to attend the Point of Care Marketing Congress, May 21-22, 2014 in Princeton, NJ to gain perspectives and inspiration from a great line-up of industry speakers from Merck, Lilly, Pfizer, Actavis and many others. Rx EDGE will be there to share the latest trends in the pharmacy setting and to give you some ideas for maximizing its potential for pharmaceutical brands.