If you provide strip or multi-dose packaging, you were just handed a golden egg from CVS and an easy Pharmacy Marketing strategy.
SimpleDose is no more; now is the time to kick your pharmacy marketing into high gear!
CVS suddenly announced the discontinuation of its strip packaging services. Patients were given zero warning and told to find another pharmacy after their current order. You can read their announcement HERE.
This decision has left many patients needing to find a new pharmacy that offers similar packaging services. Many independent pharmacies provide the exact same strip packaging or other similar multi-dose systems. Now is the time to market your pharmacy to your community and capture these patients while they need a new pharmacy.
Shout To The World (Ok, Just Your Community Is Good)
Here are some suggested strategies and specific tactics you can deploy to attract these patients. I have heard from many pharmacies that they are already getting calls from patients that are desperately trying to find a new pharmacy.
Make It Easy To Become A Patient
The goal of pharmacy marketing is to acquire new, profitable patients. Make it easy for someone to become a patient of your pharmacy. The simplest way would be to have a form with a link you can easily share via social media, your website, or QR codes. If you don’t already have a new patient form built into your website, you easily create forms through a free service such as Google Forms. Or you can use HIPAA-compliant form services such as JotForm as well.
If using a public form such as Google, you can collect only the patient’s contact information and then call them back to get their medication and pharmacy info. That way, you are HIPAA compliant and still make it easy for the patient to fill out their information.
Make Sure Employees Know Patients Might Be Asking About Prescription Packaging Services
Your employees probably don’t follow industry news as you do. Don’t let your pharmacy employees stay in the dark and potentially make a bad first impression on your community. Ensure they know that CVS has stopped SimpleDose and how your pharmacy can help these patients. I even recommend having some practice training calls to help them get comfortable.
Can they answer common questions? Make a list of patients’ common questions and ensure they know the correct answer.
Get Your Local Media Involved
Hopefully, you have built relationships with your local media people. If you still need to, there is no better time to start than now! You will want to create an email list of local media contacts—anyone from the paper, news, radio, Facebook community group, really anyone with influence. There is no need to do this work yourself. You can outsource this to an employee or even an eager teenager.
Once you have a list of your local people, tell them what is happening and how people in the community are negatively impacted.
- CVS suddenly stopped a service used by the most critically needy patients.
- Patients need a new pharmacy right away.
- Your pharmacy is stepping up to fill the void and ensure patient care doesn’t suffer.
- Share the link to CVS’ announcement in your email.
- Create a Press Release and share it with them. Click to Download our free template.
You never quite know how the local media will react. It can depend on the local news cycle and other stories. I would send them all information ASAP and follow up every 3-4 days over the next few weeks.
Become A Broken Record On Social Media
Social media is really a pharmacy marketing best friend. You can post almost anything as often as you want and never pay a penny. However, if you want to get the most out of social media, consider using these simple tactics to boost your organic reach.
- Use Videos
- Post Daily (or even multiple times a day)
- Get your employees to comment and share the post
- Be real and authentic to gain the trust of potential patients quicker
While Facebook and LinkedIn will probably be the most effective, Instagram and TikTok can help you increase your reach without much additional effort.
Let Your Local Prescribers Know
Most local doctors are oblivious to CVS’ cancellation of their SimpleDose program. Now is a great time to visit their office in person to let them know about this shake-up AND remind them of your amazing services. If you can’t see every office yourself, send an employee. If you can’t send an employee, call, fax, or message them on LinkedIn. This opportunity is a great “excuse” to rekindle a professional relationship with your prescribers.
Make Sure Your Current Patients Know
This recommendation may seem a little silly. Of course, your current patients know all about your range of services… right? It always amazes me how we assume they know what we want them to and how often our assumptions are dead wrong.
Tell your patients that although CVS discontinued its service, they don’t need to be worried about your program. Also, let them know you are actively helping any friends or family members who have been negatively impacted by CVS’ ‘difficult decision.’
Full Force Pharmacy Marketing
Now is the time to hit all avenues of pharmacy marketing very hard. Even if your community isn’t heavily impacted, taking these steps will put your pharmacy at the top of their mind, and they know that you care for your patients.
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