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How to find a local drug pusher

Drug Pusherok, I’ll admit that the title of this post is provocative.

Sue me.

The fact is that the biggest drug pushers are pharmacies.

While I love the Internet, as a high-trust, locally relevant search tool for pharmacies, you just can’t beat the Yellow Pages or HomePages (if your community is lucky enough to have one).

Here’s some information about how Americans use printed Yellow Pages and the remarkable HomePages Community Directories (shameless plug alert!) to find pharmacies.

As Americans prepare for cold and flu season, many will first visit their local pharmacies. According to the Yellow Pages Association (YPA), “Pharmacies” ranks 17th out of more than 4,000 headings and generates 129 million references annually, with the highest frequency coming in October and November.(1)

Cold and Flu season begins as early as October and can last through April. Consumers tend to load up medicine cabinets with allergy, cold and flu remedies beginning in October. Yellow Pages are one of the primary resources for consumers. In fact 90 percent of Yellow Pages users who refer to the Pharmacies heading followed up with a purchase with 19 percent of sales generated from new customers.(1)

In addition to October being the highest usage for the Pharmacy heading, it is also American Pharmacist Month, according to the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). The month-long observance is a time to recognize pharmacists’ significant contributions to health care and the commitment to patient care in all practice settings from around the country. “Know your medicine, know your pharmacist” is the theme and core message of the month.

With the recent trend of ordering medications online, many consumers lose the pharmacist to consumer relationship that is so valuable. Medicines today have great power to heal and to improve the quality of life for millions of Americans. But medicines also may do serious harm if not taken correctly. This is where the role of the pharmacist is most important. The APhA recommends consumers should choose a pharmacist as carefully as choosing a physician and resources such as the Yellow Pages are a prime place to start. It is best to use only one pharmacy so all medication records are at one location. This allows for less risk of duplicating medicine or having one prescription interact harmfully with another.

“Pharmacists who know their patients and have their medication profiles on file will be aware of possible harmful drug interactions or allergies to certain drugs,” said APhA Executive Vice President and CEO Thomas Menighan. “The pharmacist also will be able to discuss possible side effects; what foods, drinks, or activities that should be avoided while on a medication; what to do if you miss a dose; and a wide range of other helpful information.”

“Pharmacies know that Yellow Pages advertising will reach the local consumer at the precise moment they are ready to make a purchase, thus generating qualified leads,” said Larry Small, Director of Research for the YPA. These purchases, based on local Yellow Pages display ads, result in more than 175 sales per year and over $38,000 in sales revenue for pharmacies. In addition, the average return on investment received from these local display ads at the pharmacies heading is $11 of sales revenue for every $1 spent.(2)

For more information on Yellow Pages headings, visit http://www.ypassociation.org/.

(1) Knowledge Networks/SRI, June 2009

(2) CRM Associates 2008

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