Retail in brief | Zur Rose, McKesson

Retail in brief | Zur Rose, McKesson

13 November 2020 - Deborah Wilkes

Zur Rose Group is joining forces with health insurers to create a digital healthcare platform in Switzerland, and McKesson has released financial results.

E-pharmacy specialist Zur Rose Group is teaming up with health insurers Allianz Care, CSS and Visana to create a digital healthcare platform in Switzerland.

Zur Rose said the platform, which will be launched officially in the second quarter of 2021, would “provide Swiss residents with interactive and straightforward access to healthcare”.

“The platform is open to all players in the healthcare sector – insurers, doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other providers – and aims to deliver higher quality treatment and more efficient processes,” commented Zur Rose.

Zur Rose and the three health insurers are financing a new independent company to create the platform, which “sets a new benchmark in Swiss healthcare, laying the foundations for digitally-supported, integrated care across Switzerland”.

Zur Rose explained that the platform helped people “organise their personal healthcare at all stages of treatment”. “Patients have access to individually-tailored, quality-assured healthcare services with a single click,” it said, adding these were “available round the clock on a smartphone app”.

“Once users respond to quick and easy-to-answer general questions on health,” continued Zur Rose, “they can use a digital symptom checker for an initial diagnosis in the event of illness, request medical support, arrange a doctor’s appointment, order medication or access additional services.”

McKesson reports sales up by 6%

McKesson reported worldwide sales of USD60.8 billion in the three months ended 30 September 2020, representing a rise of 6% compared to the same period a year earlier.

The US-based drug distributor said sales by its International segment – which houses its Canadian and European businesses including Lloydspharmacy – had fallen by 1% on a currency-adjusted basis. Sales as reported were USD9.54 billion, representing a rise of 2% compared to the same period a year earlier.

McKesson said lower volumes in the Canadian pharmaceutical distribution business due to the exit of an unprofitable customer at the start of the fiscal year had been partially offset by higher volumes in the European business.

Adjusted operating profit reported by the segment was up by 19% to USD115 million on a currency-adjusted basis, giving an adjusted operating margin of 1.2%.

Giving guidance for the financial year ending 31 March 2021, McKesson said it expected to achieve sales growth of between 2% and 4%. The International segment is expected to see a decline of between 5% and 10%.

McKesson said it was “not assuming that a new wave of COVID-19 returns, leading to national lockdowns and shelter-at-home scenarios precluding patient consumption of healthcare services, supplies and pharmaceutical products”.

The company added that it was “not assuming any systemic customer insolvency events”.

McKesson is assuming that unemployment peaked in the three months ended 30 June 2020 and gradually begins to improve across the remaining quarters of the financial year.

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