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Cardinal Health Expands Leader(R) Offering To Help Independent Pharmacies Strengthen Patient Relationships, Solidify Role As Local Health Care Experts
Jul 24, 2008 (08:07 AM EDT)


ORLANDO, Fla., July 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As consumerism, the aging patient population and evolving government regulations continue to shift the way health care is delivered, Cardinal Health today launched new tools to help retail independent pharmacies strengthen relationships with consumers, improve productivity and solidify their role as local health care experts.

New offerings include an exclusive brand of home health care products to help retailers diversify revenue; a front-of-store management tool that improves the efficiency of non-prescription sales; outbound calling technology that helps pharmacies build relationships with customers; and a prescription counting system that improves accuracy and efficiency.

Key tools introduced today at the company's 19th annual Retail Business Conference and now available to members of Cardinal Health's Leader(R) network of independent retail pharmacies include:

-- TrustWorth(TM) exclusive brand of home health care products -- Cardinal Health's exclusive new brand of high-quality, affordable home health care products helps independent pharmacies diversify revenue while strengthening their position as a local health care destination. The TrustWorth line of home health care products includes bath safety, mobility and personal care products, many of which are reimbursable through Medicare, Medicaid and most third-party insurance companies. By offering these products to the fast-growing aging population, independent pharmacies can drive additional revenue and build market share by attracting new customers. TrustWorth's contemporary packaging and full suite of marketing materials, including catalogs, brochures, store layouts and signage, help drive customer awareness and sales.

-- ECRS front-end management system -- Cardinal Health has partnered with ECRS to make its front-end management system available to customers at guaranteed industry-best pricing. The ECRS system automatically re-orders front-of-store merchandise as it's purchased, provides electronic order updates and confirmations and provides profit analysis on products at the item level. The system also enhances prescription sales accountability by scanning and tracking all prescriptions at check out. In addition, it reduces inventory and stock outs and is proven to increase front-of-store sales by 5 to 10 percent while decreasing the amount of time spent managing front-of-store inventory by as much as 60 percent.

Recent enhancements to the ECRS system also help customers comply with pending Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations that retailers need to follow in order to process flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement arrangements and other health benefit plans.

-- Abby Calling Technology -- Cardinal Health also introduced guaranteed industry-best pricing for new, Web-based Abby Calling Technology, which helps pharmacies improve patient relationships and medication compliance, while also increasing prescription refill rates and reducing labor costs. The automated outbound calling tool allows retailers to notify patients when prescriptions are ready or need to be refilled, share information regarding special promotions and conduct customer surveys. Calls can be made using the local pharmacist's voice or by professional voice talent, and the pharmacy's local phone number appears in the patient's caller ID. The technology takes less than 30 minutes of training to use and helps pharmacies improve productivity by streamlining out-bound phone calls and significantly reducing in-bound phone calls.

-- Automated Kirby Lester counting systems -- Cardinal Health will also offer industry-best pricing for customers wanting to improve patient safety and reduce prescription fill time with automated Kirby Lester pill counting systems. Taking up less space than a coffee maker, Kirby Lester counting systems automate the prescription fill process, reducing costly miscounts and guaranteeing 99.97 percent prescription counting accuracy. Advanced models also offer barcode scanning, detailed dispensing reports and visual drug verification.

"Through our broad Leader offering, we're creating long-term partnerships to help independent pharmacies attract new, loyal customers, drive efficiency and improve their financial performance," said Mike Kaufmann, group president of Healthcare Supply Chain Services -- Pharmaceutical for Cardinal Health. "We're committed to helping retail independents respond to health care trends and position their businesses to win, no matter how the market changes."

These new tools are the latest addition to Leader, Cardinal Health's comprehensive offering that helps independent pharmacies improve patient care, maximize profitability and identify new opportunities to effectively compete by:

-- Improving reimbursements -- Leader protects margins by managing business relationships with pharmacy benefits managers and providing a full suite of reimbursement tools that ensure claims are submitted and collected properly.

-- Streamlining operations -- Leader streamlines operations by offering proactive inventory management solutions and addressing workflow issues related to staffing shortages, high labor costs, increasing prescriptions, decreasing margins and patient safety requirements.

-- Creating alternate revenue streams -- Leader helps retail pharmacies diversify revenue and solidify their role as a complete health care destination by helping them develop expertise in key areas including home health care, durable medical equipment and diabetes management.

-- Increasing market share -- Leader increases market share and establishes strong brand recognition by helping retailers attract new and loyal customers through optimized advertising strategies, effective store signage and profitable private-label offerings.

"Cardinal Health's Leader offering helps me expand my reach into the community and diversify my business beyond just filling prescriptions," said Dave Burke, owner of Dave's Pharmacy in Marysville, Ohio. "By partnering with Cardinal Health to improve my business's productivity and profitability, I can tap into a full suite of tools and services that help me stay ahead of health care trends and position my business for long-term success."

These offerings were introduced at the Cardinal Health Retail Business Conference (RBC) being held July 23-26, 2008 in Orlando, Fla. With the mission of strengthening the market position of retail independent pharmacists, RBC 2008 provides more than 4,000 attendees -- pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and other pharmacy industry professionals across the United States -- with buying opportunities, continuing education sessions and programs to help improve patient care, efficiency and profitability.

About Cardinal Health

Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. www.cardinalhealth.com is an $87 billion, global company serving the health care industry with products and services that help hospitals, physician offices and pharmacies reduce costs, improve safety, productivity and profitability, and deliver better care to patients. With a focus on making supply chains more efficient, reducing hospital-acquired infections and breaking the cycle of harmful medication errors, Cardinal Health develops market leading technologies, including Alaris(R) IV pumps, Pyxis(R) automated dispensing systems, MedMined(TM) infection surveillance services and the CareFusion(TM) patient identification system. The company also manufactures medical and surgical products and is one of the largest distributors of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies worldwide. Ranked No. 19 on the Fortune 500, Cardinal Health employs more than 40,000 people on five continents. More information about the company may be found at .

CONTACT: Media: Tara Schumacher, +1-614-757-6250, tara.schumacher@cardinal.com; Investors: Jon Lyons, +1-614-757-3996,, both of Cardinal Health

Web site: http://www.cardinalhealth.com//