Event Buzz: Diabetes Programs at Retail  10/27/2015

The Diabetes Programs at Retail event brought in major players from all aspects of the Diabetes industry. During this three day event that took place in Tampa Florida, one-on-one discussions were held which focused on product purchasing and developing retail programs that will provide people with diabetes information, education, services and products which can help improve their lives. 

Technology and patient education were among some of the latest trends discussed throughout the one-on-one buyer/seller meetings and educational sessions. The following provides additional insights into these trends and where they are taking the category.

Technology advances are seen in a variety of different industries so it is no surprise that the diabetes category is also jumping on this bandwagon, especially when it comes to Bluetooth capabilities. Such Bluetooth products include blood glucose monitors that send patient readings directly to a smartphone app which keeps record of the results and allows patients to access this information at any time. In addition to tracking mechanisms, such applications can also help educate patients about what their readings actually mean and how they should react to those results. 
Andrew Markievich, Manager Pharmacy Clinical Programs at Ahold discusses ways that these apps can go a step further. Markieich says, “With the ability to take a blood glucose reading and have that information uploaded directly to your smartphone gives patients the opportunity to share that data with their health care providers.” With this information, health care providers are better able to guide and educate patients which can have a significant impact on adherence and can potentially prevent other health issues down the line. 
Additionally, patient reminders and autofill technologies can help pharmacists in the retail setting stay in touch with patients in an effort to increase adherence.

Patient education plays an essential role in increasing adherence. According to one buyer attendee, “The industry needs new products but it is essential that we educate patients about these products in the store. We can’t just put product on the shelf with no educational support.” But more often than not the task of actually educating the patient falls on the pharmacists’ shoulders and building this into their already packed schedules can be quite a challenge. In an effort to help relieve some of the pressure, many suppliers are taking it upon themselves to develop programs that are specifically designed to help educate the diabetic consumer about their products.

Such educational programs will help to increase adherence but According to Vinnie Mainella, COO at Miller Drug, his business is not only looking to educate the patient but they are also engaging the patient’s family. By offering educational classes to the patient’s family, they can begin to better support their loved one by encouraging better eating and lifestyle habits.   

In addition to one-on-one meetings two educational sessions took place during the event. The first was a panel discussion which featured many of the people that are leading the way in the diabetes industry. Click here to read more about this panel discussion. The second educational session that took place was presented by David Nau of Pharmacy Quality Solutions during which he discussed the growing importance of quality ratings of retail pharmacies.

Join us next year at the Diabetes/Clinical Programs, Health & Wellness Solutions event taking place October 2-4 at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa in Chandler, Arizona.  For more information about this event please contact Michael Castillo at 440-528-0441 or mcastillo@ECRM.MarketGate.com.

Rachel Mayfield

Director of Marketing

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