Columbus, OH. One shift we’ve been tracking is the pharmacy’s changing role. In-pharmacy health care clinics and pharmacist-administered vaccinations have helped to re-position the pharmacy as a front line point-of-care. The pharmacist is gaining face-time with the patient, often coming out from behind the counter to offer advice. We’re hearing stories of patients’ trust of pharmacists increasing, even outweighing physicians’ advice when there’s a differing opinion.

Two more recent headlines serve as clues:

Walgreens Adds PatientsLikeMe Data on Medication Side Effects. The opening up of their dashboard to patient generated content is the first of its kind.

Rite-Aid Announces First Ever Innovation Challenge. For the first time, Rite-Aid seeks product ideas from patients.

Our take: Pharmacies are working to propel this shift. Pulling in useful, peer-generated content and soliciting ideas and input are two strategies from two different organizations with the same objective–getting closer to the patient.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.