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Retailers respond to demand for in-store health guides

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There is perhaps no greater value in the OTC space than having a friendly face guide you to the health information you need — when you are physically in the store. That value will resonate even more with consumers once they realize that the guide is a dedicated position who is there to help them access health information at the shelf with the Drug Facts Label or through a Web-enabled tablet. And when that interaction graduates from providing direction to requiring an actual consultation, the OTC health guide can serve as a bridge to the pharmacist.

According to a recent poll conducted by PR firm Edelman, as many as 40% of consumers feel there isn't enough relevant health information available to them at the point of decision.

Walgreens and Rite Aid are the two national retailers who are today ramping up availability of health guides across their respective store bases. In the Northwest markets in which Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy operates, health guides have been a core component of that company's business model since the beginning; Pharmaca actually deploys licensed healthcare professionals into its OTC aisles. And Max Wellness, an OTC store concept developed by OfficeMax founder Michael Feuer, like-wise has armed all of its employees with tablets loaded with relevant health information.

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