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CVS/pharmacy aims for more comprehensive mobile tool via app update

CVS/pharmacy is continuing to make its mobile application a top priority in its strategy with a new update that makes it easier for consumers to compare prescriptions side by side.

Over the past year or so, CVS/pharmacy has substantially built up its mobile presence particularly around the company’s apps. The update is rolling out across the company’s iPhone and Android app.

“Our new drug interaction checker empowers our customers to make important decisions about their health with a convenient tool that determines whether an over-the-counter product may impact the prescriptions they are taking,” said Brian Tilzer, senior vice President and chief digital officer at CVS/pharmacy, Woonsocket, RI.

How it works
The drug interaction checker lets consumers compare over-the-counter products with their own prescriptions and is heavily promoted on the home screen of the app.

App users can type in the name of the product or ingredient that they want to compare directly into the app.

Consumers can also scan the UPC bar code that is found on products using the app’s built-in camera feature. Users are then asked to choose the correct dosage amount and form of their medication.

Users with a MyCVS Pharmacy account can also view information about their stored prescriptions. To access the feature, users need to log-in with their email address and password.

Consumers can also sign-up for a MyCVS account directly from the app.

The app then builds a list of medications for consumers.

Once two or more medications are chosen, consumers can check for similar ingredients that are in the medications. The app uses a database of drug information to match up prescriptions.

Additionally, users can filter the drugs by interaction type or by severity.

In addition to the new drug interaction checker, consumers can also use CVS/pharmacy’s app to manage, refill and view their prescriptions.

The app also acts as a virtual loyalty card and lets consumers add their ExtraCare loyalty card to redeem their rewards and shop.

CVS/pharmacy cites data from the Centers for Disease Control, which finds that 50 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug once per month, and 20 percent of Americans take three or more prescriptions, as the reason why the company has added the feature.

Mobile health
CVS/pharmacy has been ramping up its mobile strategy over the past year as consumers increasingly turn to their mobile devices to accomplish quick tasks, such as refilling a prescription.

In April, the company launched a phone upgrade program to drive downloads of its Android app to qualifying consumers (see story).

Additionally, the company rolled out an interactive iPad app earlier this year that uses 3D technology to stimulate an in-store shopping experience (see story).

“Our goal at CVS/pharmacy is to continually find new ways of helping people on their path to better health, and this new feature demonstrates how we intend to harness the power of mobile technology as a cutting-edge health resource that addresses real needs of our customers,” Mr. Tilzer said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York