In her 22-year career as a pharmacy technician, Stephanie Saxon has helped patients of all ages and with nearly every symptom take their medicine as prescribed by flavoring it with FLAVORx.
Her advice is for pharmacists and technicians to put in the work before making the sale.
“Use the FLAVORx system to find the most compatible flavoring combinations for [your] patient’s specific medicine,” she said.
Her advanced preparation allowed Ms. Saxon to upsell flavoring at the point-of-sale.
“When I took the customer to the register, I could say to them: This medicine doesn’t taste the best, but it’s important for you to take it. Did you know we can make [the medicine] taste better? Here’s a list of flavors that work well with your medication,” she explained.
Ms. Saxon would then hand her patient their customized flavoring sheets, generated by the FLAVORx system. By doing her homework before making the sale, Ms. Saxon identified some unique medicine-flavoring combinations that delighted customers and boosted sales.
Traditionally, doctors prescribe Keppra, an anti-seizure medication, for children who struggle to swallow big tablets. But here’s the thing: all patients struggle to swallow big pills. One solution is to convert hard-to-swallow pills into a liquid medication. The issue is that patients need to take a high volume of the liquid medicine and it doesn’t taste great. Ms. Saxon found that adding FLAVORx’s strawberry, watermelon, and mango flavors to Keppra worked the best.
"As a pharmacy technician, it’s your job to get customers to take their medicine," said Ms. Saxon. Making bad-tasting medicine taste better is something kids, and patients of all ages and symptoms appreciate. For example, potassium supplements do not have a great flavor. Often Ms. Saxon’s customers - especially older patients - refused to take their potassium supplements simply because it tasted terrible. Once she started flavoring those supplements with FLAVORx, her patients began to comply.
One of Ms. Saxon’s biggest sellers was flavoring lactulose, a highly utilized medication for people with liver disease. When a person’s liver starts to fail, their brain becomes inundated with ammonia, which leads to symptoms like impaired memory, shortened attention span, and seizures, so it’s a real serious issue. But like so many liquid medications, lactulose doesn’t taste great. Plus it's a green-and-yellow viscous liquid, which looks gross and unappealing. Ms. Saxon asked herself: “what can I do make [lactulose] more tolerable for my patients?” She found that raspberry flavoring worked best with lactulose and it helped her customers fight off the side-effects of liver disease.
Mental Health Prescriptions.
Ms. Saxon said her most rewarding experience using FLAVORx was with a mental health patient who was non-compliant with their Prozac medication. This individual was bipolar, schizophrenic, and severely depressed, landing them in-and-out of the behavioral science unit at the local hospital. Prozac was their only hope of experiencing some mental stability. According to Ms. Saxon, “After speaking with this patient, I learned they didn’t like swallowing the Prozac pills. So we changed all the oral medications into liquid medications and added flavoring.” The newly flavored medicine helped the patient became more compliant with their medication, and they reported feeling less suicidal and more stable.
Over the Counter drugs
Most patients (and pharmacists/technicians for that matter) think only antibiotics can be flavored with FLAVORx. However, any medicine can be flavored, including over-the-counter products like Zyrtec or Robitussin. Flavoring over-the-counter medication is a win-win because the customer is more likely to comply with their medication.
Ms. Saxon used FLAVORx to earn a 90% prescription refill rate while working for some of the biggest names in the retail pharmacy industry like CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens. Implementing medication flavoring in the retail pharmacy space is incredibly easy and straightforward with FLAVORx’s new fully automated system, the Fillmaster Auto. Ms. Saxon used FLAVORx to help her patients comply with their prescriptions and demonstrate customer care.