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Digital media provide practical resources for eye care.

NEW YORK -- Suppliers are increasingly turning to digital media to educate consumers and health care professionals, including pharmacists, on eye care.

Alcon, for one, last month launched DROPS101 Web Tools, a mobile website that takes the pharmacist-patient relationship into the digital age by providing a robust one-stop, educational resource about commonly prescribed eye and ear treatments. The company introduced the website in response to the growing demand for digital access to patient-centered materials, enabling pharmacists to foster an in-depth dialogue with patients at the prescription counter.

With its user-friendly platform, the site offers digital access to information on treatments for two extremely common childhood ailments: Ciprodex Otic (ciprofloxacin 0.3% and dexamethasone 0.1%), for acute otitis externa and acute otitis media in pediatric patients with tymponostomy tubes; and Moxeza Solution, (moxifloxacin HCI ophthalmic solution) 0.5%, for bacterial conjunctivitis caused by susceptible strains.

In addition to offering a practical method for accessing information about Ciprodex Otic and Moxeza Solution, DROPS101 features patient-managed customization tools, including onthe-spot prescription savings information eligible patients can take to the counter with a flash of a smartphone or tablet. There are also dosing instructions and games to help occupy and reward children during or after drops administration, and options for patients to share tools with friends through such popular social networks as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

"We heard from pharmacists that having a one-stop digital resource to help advise patients on prescribed medications would be useful," says Alcon U.S. multichannel marketing manager Amy Patyk. "DROPS101 is another way Alcon is expanding our commitment to meet the ever-evolving needs of pharmacists and their patients. By offering mobile access to educational tools, pharmacists can help their patients learn more about medication options and treatment support with the convenience of wireless technology."

For its part, Bausch + Lomb prides itself on engaging with consumers before they even enter a store. "We turn to professional outreach, television, pant, digital media and in-store programs to communicate that innovative products in eye care and ocular nutritionals can improve the consumer experience and ultimately the patients' eye health," says director of sales and category management John Conos. "Our promotions increase product awareness, stimulate product trial, promote repeat purchases and engender retailer loyalty."

Last year the company premiered an integrated marketing campaign that broke through the commoditized market of contact lens solutions to drive sales of its Biotrue multipurpose contact lens solution.

And OCuSOFT recently launched a new website that allows for a more interactive consumer experience. It provides another route to offering special promotions and discounts while cross-marketing related products.

The site also features educational information for consumers on various eye care conditions and solutions. In conjunction with the new website, the marketing plan for retail products includes online advertising in the form of banner ads, flash ads, commercials and a dedicated presence on social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter.
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Title Annotation:MERCHANDISING/EYE CARE
Publication:Chain Drug Review
Date:Apr 8, 2013
Words:481
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