Magazine article Drug Topics

Catalina Testing Information Service for Rxs

Magazine article Drug Topics

Catalina Testing Information Service for Rxs

Article excerpt

Catalina Marketing Corp., St. Petersburg, Fla., is testing customized newsletters for pharmacy patrons through selected stores owned by eight drugstore and supermarket chains. Among the chains involved in the test are Kroger, Genovese, Harco, Vons, Rite Aid, Pathmark, Super D, and Giant Food.

Eventually, the service will also be open to independent pharmacies, through wholesalers, but the test is closed to other stores now, said Michael T. McClorey, president of Health Resource Publishing Co., St. Louis, which was set up by Catalina to handle the newsletters. "We should be entering Phase II--including a limited expansion-by the fall," McClorey told Drug Topics.

The Health Resource service represents a new application of Catalina's patented, in-store scanner-based technology by which coupons are distributed at the checkout counters of approximately 9,000 supermarkets around the country. Each time a customer presents an Rx to be filled, the pharmacist enters the prescription, the NDC number, and the patient's name. Out of the system comes a laser-printed newsletter, with the person's name on it, containing condition-specific health information as well as coupons/advertisements on four adjunct products or services.

Health Resource already has about 25 different articles in the hopper, said McClorey, and it's working with Medical Economics on the development of approximately 100 more articles over the next six months. Medical Economics, the health-care communications and database company, publishes Drug Topics, Hospital Pharmacist Report, Red Book, and Physicians' Desk Reference, among other titles.

The articles will cover many different diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Patients with chronic conditions will receive a series of articles on their conditions. In the case of certain products, such as antibiotics, which are used for several conditions, patients will receive information that's focused on the drug--what is it, how it should be taken, etc. …

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