At a glance: The Pharmacy Channel

Isn’t that the channel that only carries ads? Not solely. The ads run on loops on screens in independent pharmacies, but in between those there is editorial content in the form of information on various medical treatments.

Such as what?

From diabetes and obesity to flu jabs and hayfever – anything audiences in independent pharmacies are likely to be interested in. Sales director Fraser Sim says PROs have an opportunity to present products on a variety of issues. Information ranges from the seasonal (such as sunburn and colds) to the topical (such as Zocor becoming available over the counter).

How is the information presented on screen?

At the moment it is text-based, but the channel is looking at other ways of doing it, such as using a presenter, advertorials or interviews. Slots are on 30-second loops, although these are sometimes broken into three lots of ten seconds. Either way, there are opportunities for PROs to use this form of broadcasting as a means of shaping consumer attitudes to health and addressing issues of concern.

Increasing self-medication and the changing role of pharmacies mean providing an in-store platform makes sense. The average customer has a six-minute waiting time, and being seen at point of sale is valuable.

It would say that, wouldn’t it?

Of course. But it is undoubtedly true that pharmacies are moving up the healthcare provision chain, which must have an impact on their influence over consumer purchasing decisions.

What is coming up on the channel?

Some editorial on hypertension is due to air shortly. As we move into autumn and winter, there will be the obvious concentration on cold remedies and the like. Advice on smoking cessation is an evergreen topic, and management of longer-term conditions means all sorts of information within the standard healthcare guidelines is welcome.

Who is backing the channel?

A variety of private investors, none of which are pharma companies.

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