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GMDC report: Diabetic patients will increasingly rely on stores to fill health care gap


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- As more Americans develop diabetes, retailers have an opportunity to bridge the gap between physicians' orders and self-care, according to the Global Market Development Center's latest Health & Wellness Best Practices report.

More than 29 million American have already been diagnosed with Type 1 or 2 diabetes. With the Centers for Disease Control predicting that 40% of Americans born between 2000 and 2011 will develop diabetes, the disease's prevalence is demanding the attention of both physicians on the diagnostic end and retailers on what GMDC terms the consumer-patient end. 

GMDC worked with Johnson & Johnson and Wakefern Food Corporations ShopRite supermarkets to explore how the two brands are addressing the diabetes crisis by creating a new in-store display format—the store of the future—for consumer-patients.

"The real opportunity for retailers here is in bridging the gap between the physicians orders and the consumer-patients fulfillment of those orders – which we call selfcare," said Mark Mechelse, director of research, industry insights and communications for GMDC. "Johnson & Johnson and Wakefern formed a retail relationship that benefits the entire commerce ecosystem."

Wakefern said the partnership brought together a perfect blend of strengths and needs.

"Our stores are community stores, but we need manufacturer partners and Johnson & Johnson has the insights, the people and talent to help us serve those communities better," said Chris Skyers, vice president of Health and Beauty Care for Wakefern.

People with diabetes account for $176 billion annually in direct medical costs, and on average spend between $1,000 and $2,500 a year on supplies alone – Including test strips, syringes and sterile dressings. As a result, they spend nearly five times more than the average customer in drug and grocery.

"We have found that diabetes patients have so many health issues that, if there's one place in the store they can go to and find testing supplies, wound care, skin care, oral health and nutritional products, it is a huge benefit to them," says Chris Jobes director of Health and Wellness for Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. "What we did was bring together all the primary items that deliver solutions. The results have been incredibly positive."

To see the full report, click here.

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