Cardinal’s digital ad network plays to hundreds of pharmacies

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DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health Inc. continues to sign up retail pharmacies for its Pharmacy Health Network digital advertising network, which is now in hundreds of drug stores nationwide.

The pharmaceutical and health care products distributor said Tuesday that since launching the Pharmacy Health Network last August, it has signed up more than 650 retail pharmacy locations and has completed installations in 500 stores.

The network streams advertisements and educational content to flat-panel LCD screens placed in pharmacies, enabling advertisers to target customers as they wait for their prescriptions to be filled. Cardinal said such advertisers as Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care, Upsher-Smith, Novartis Consumer Health and Salix Pharmaceuticals are already running ads or educational content on the network.

In addition, the Pharmacy Health Network runs health and wellness segments from the NBC Digital Health Network, local and national weather modules from AccuWeather.com, and educational content from the Food and Drug Administration and other government health agencies.

Participating pharmacies can also promote in-store specials, health screenings and other local information, such as local weather and community events, Cardinal added.

"We’re thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive response the Pharmacy Health Network has received from both advertisers and retail pharmacy customers, and we look forward to continuing to rapidly expand the number of stores and advertisers that participate in the program," Jeff Foreman, vice president of strategic purchasing at Cardinal, said in a statement.

Some products have already experienced 15% to 37% sales gains in the pharmacy locations where they were promoted on the Pharmacy Health Network (www.phntv.com), Foreman said.

Cardinal said it has been marketing the network to the more than 5,000 independent retail and franchised pharmacies it serves throughout the United States, as well as to its  chain drug store customers.

"Discount Drug Mart has been extremely pleased with the Pharmacy Health Network, Tom Nameth, director of pharmacy operations for Ohio drug store chain, said in a statement released by Cardinal. "It enables us to share timely, health-related information with customers in our pharmacy waiting areas, and it’s also very user-friendly, allowing us to customize content to promote store-specific programs, specials and promotions in a timely fashion."

The network’s directional speakers are another key feature of the program, because they ensure that customers can clearly hear the information presented on the LCD screens without interfering with the pharmacy department’s operation, Nameth added. And by promoting over-the-counter and other health-related products, the network has helped in driving sales and “increasing Discount Drug Mart’s bottom line," he stated.

Dallas-based Respario Digital Advertising Group manages the network’s technology and content, Cardinal said.  

"I really like that the Pharmacy Health Network does more than promote products to my patients; it also contains educational content that increases the overall professionalism of my store," Ron Johnson, owner of two Lloyd’s Pharmacy stores in Minnesota, said in a statement provided by Cardinal. "The installation process was also very easy. Cardinal Health and Respario handled it all, so it was a quick and easy way to improve my patients’ experience as they wait for prescriptions to be filled."

Participating pharmacies receive installation and ongoing maintenance for a flat-panel LCD screen and a directional, targeted audio system, according to Cardinal. Pharmacies also get a custom brochure rack to provide customers with easy access to health-related materials, coupons, brochures, business reply cards, and other promotional and educational materials.


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