Interactive Tool to Aid Health Organizations

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Correction: The headline that appeared with this story on DM News' Sept. 10, 1999, Web site contains inaccuracies. SmithKline Beecham is not launching a virtual drugstore.

With so many Web-based drugstores cropping up online, SmithKline Beecham, Marlton, NJ, next month will launch a customer relationship management program with several online partners that sell SmithKline Beecham products.

The program, called Interactive Health Risk Assessment, will create a customized virtual drugstore experience for consumers and help SmithKline compete in the competitive online pharmaceutical arena.

Interactive Health Risk Assessment, which is still being developed by database technology firm Customer Potential Management Corp., East Peoria, IL, will use customer data collected by Smith-Kline to deliver customized shelf space online and track the experience through to product sales. A link will be placed on the home pages of its online partners, encouraging consumers to click through and complete the survey. Smith Kline currently is pursuing partnerships with Web firms such as PlanetRx and

In traditional brick-and-mortar stores, marketers jockey for eye-level shelf space, but that space doesn't exist online.

"This helps manage virtual shelf space and trace sales and collect information for future sales," said John Hallick, CPM founder/CEO. "There has to be a way to leverage collected information and make an analysis instantly of what kinds of products [customers] might use and direct them to those products in the virtual store and then track the event."

The survey, based on algorithms from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, probes for extensive information about individual consumers' health status and history, lifestyle, behavior and statistical information such as height, weight, age and gender. CPM designed and built the software and the data model, and it will handle data collection, real-time analysis and long-term, back-end data analysis.

In addition to directing consumers to specific SmithKline pharmaceutical and over-the-counter products, the assessment reveals for its customers their health-risk factors and guides them by generating content designed to advise and assist them, thereby increasing patient loyalty. For example, a smoker who indicates a desire to quit can be given information about Nicorette and Nicoderm, as well as online counseling about smoking.

Once the information is collected, Hallick said, CPM also can create electronic coupons and direct mail programs for future sales for SmithKline, although there are no immediate plans to do so.

Other companies recognize the need for customization and personalization with consumers. Arrow Pharmacy and Nutrition Centers, Farmington, CT, last month launched as a specialized, one-on-one pharmacy dispensing nutrition services and advice to its online customers.

The site employs a team of pharmacists available by phone and e-mail 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to answer customer questions and give health advice.

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