Take one and call your doctor in the morning (for a good drug deal)

rx-edge-picture444Ever see one of those red boxes with blinking LEDs offering cents-off coupons for Oreos in the cookie aisle, or Tide in the detergent aisle? Ever see a video display that springs to life when you pass by?

In the prescription drug business, where drug-makers are looking to compete with OTC (over-the-counter) remedies that treat similar ailments, the same kind of promotional gizmos are NOT coming to a retail pharmacy aisle near you. Why not?

Because they’re already here.

A brand  selling prescription Restasis eye drops can now buy promo space and locate one of the point-of-sale (POS) boxes next to OTC Visene, in the process, lifting branded prescription sales an average 10-percent for mature products (vs. much higher for new-drug launches), with ROI of $6 for each dollar spent.

These kinds of promos are common across consumer goods, with companies like Valassis and News Corp’s News America Marketing going head to head hawking soap, cookies and in cases, OTC remedies. Another firm, Rx Edge Pharmacy Networks, East Dundee, Ill., specializes in the prescription stuff, which is “much, much more complicated” to promote in terms of regulatory due diligence, Jim O’Dea, CEO, told me, adding that the need for black-box warnings, patient information and other requirements appears to be on a trajectory to keep ballooning as leaflects (shown here) turn into whole booklets.

Want the facts? Read the Pharmaceutical Commerce news story, “Point-of-sale promotion generates a healthy financial return for pharma brands,” posted August 16.