Magazine article Drug Topics

MCKessonHBOC Sees Growing Hospital Interest in Retail Services

Magazine article Drug Topics

MCKessonHBOC Sees Growing Hospital Interest in Retail Services

Article excerpt

A little more than six months after its merger with HBO&Company, executives at McKessonHBOC Inc. have plotted a marketing course designed to bridge the gap between the firm's retail and institutional customers. The company has already leveraged cross-selling opportunities that take advantage of McKesson's traditional wholesaler and automated drug-dispensing business along with HBOC's pharmacy information systems line and other hospital-focused software products. Now McKesson has set its sights jointly on the retail sector and the growing ambulatory pharmacy movement within integrated health networks (ENs).

In the past, products and services were separated based on market sector, but today, the lines are more blurred. There is a much greater interest on the part of hospital customers to learn, for example, about software traditionally designed for retail customers. Conversely, some retail entities, such as large pharmacy chains and mail-order firms, are expressing a greater interest in certain automateddispensing technologies.

"We've looked at a lot of applications that we've designed for the independent pharmacy, and we find that many of them have absolute application in the ambulatory setting," said Pat Blake, president of McKessonHBOC Health Systems, based in San Francisco. One example of those synergies, said Blake, is the company's OmniLink retail pharmacy thirdparty claims-processing program. Integrated health-care systems with ambulatory pharmacy components have been showing an increased interest in OmniLink. …

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