By Vincent Dajani
In “Where Are They Now?”, SmartCEO takes another look at companies and CEOs previously featured on our magazine cover. FLAVORx’s cover story appeared in February 2012. Read it here. If your company was featured on our cover and you’re interested in having us revisit your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When SmartCEO last spoke with Stuart Amos, president and CEO of FLAVORx, Inc., he was looking for a way to really break into the mainstream pharmacy market and increase the number of patients who knew they could have their medicines flavored. Today, FLAVORx has flavored over 16 million prescriptions, and has doubled the average number of flavored medicine requests to four out of every 100.
“We’ve added about 5,000 pharmacies to our program,” Amos says. “We’re now up close to 45,000 … about 90 percent of the chain pharmacy market. I’m very encouraged by what we’ve achieved.” So how did FLAVORx do all that in two short years?
“Engage, personalize and delight,” according to Amos. Pharmacies want to find ways to engage with their patients, and they find that personalization will keep customers coming back, he notes. “That is the essence of what we’re doing for every chain that we supply: working together to delight the customer so that they will come back to that pharmacy.”
FLAVORx has changed from a flavoring company that was once pushing pharmacies and patients to sell flavors, to a company that offers personalized choices for patients. “That is more of a service than a product,” Amos says. ”Rather than trying to sell the programs, pharmacies are using it as a way to make patients feel more comfortable. … We’ve evolved from a company that made bad medicine taste good to a company that offers a choice.”
FLAVORx is trying to change the pharmacy-patient relationship. It was a long process for Amos and didn’t happen overnight. “Temple University did a study on maternal stress levels and found that 61 percent expressed [negative] emotions around medicine time for children,” he says. “We are trying to reach out and allow the child to choose the flavor so it creates a more positive experience.” Amos’ vision for the future: an era of personal medicine. “Rather than [medicine being] something that the doctor gave me, now it offers some form of control.”
FLAVORx has developed technology to make the flavoring process fully automated and plans on expanding to Mexico and Europe. But SmartCEO would be remiss if we didn’t follow up on those savory animal medication flavors. “We still have our veterinarian business, but the big change is that many of the big chains are piloting the program to offer small animal services at their pharmacies. I think you will see small animal prescriptions in most of the large chains within two years, for sure.”
Keep an eye on FLAVORx; it’s at the threshold of a new wave of modern pharmacy for everyone. And remember, you don’t have to eat the chalky, grape-flavored medicine. You have options.