4 Trends That May Impact the Business of Retail Pharmacy
Under this new administration, one can expect a change in the business of retail pharmacy. The change can be good or bad for the industry. This could also have an impact on health insurers and consumers.
Retail pharmacy trends to watch out for
Increase of in-house mail order refill programs
To date, only 44% of respondents, including pharmacy leaders at hospitals and health systems, have in-house mail order refill programs, according to a survey conducted by the Pharmacy Executive Forum. This is probably due to the high number of prescription volumes needed to justify the cost of operations. After all, the process demands staffing, technology and infrastructure investments. But one can expect the numbers to rise, with the shift towards managed care contracts. Mail order refill programs play a vital role in ensuring convenience and reducing leakage of prescription to competitors.
Improved bedside delivery capture rates
According to a Care Transformation Center Blog, “More than three-quarters of med-to-bed programs have less than a 50% capture rate”. Concierge bedside delivery program needs improvement if retail pharmacy and the rest of the healthcare industry are to see a boost in business. Hospital-based retail pharmacy, after all, is considered strategic investments that can increase pharmacy volumes and profit, increase patient satisfaction, and encourage medication adherence.
Integration of emerging technologies
The use of drones, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and other emerging technologies could make an impact on business models, including retail pharmacy. This can also give rise to risk and benefits on workforce needs, business operations, and cyber security risks. When integrated into the business, a company would have to hire new talent. The businesses can partner with companies equipped with the skills needed to make these emerging technologies work.
Shift from medication to nutrition
People are finally seeing the value of the much-abused cliché that “prevention is better than cure”. A recent HRI survey provides proof that a huge number of the population is willing to ask for free advice on the matter of weight management or diet-related medical conditions from doctors (79%), pharmacy (59%) and big box store (17%).
How these trends will affect the pharmacy business, including specialty pharmacy, remains to be seen. But when they do, the retail landscape is sure to shift.
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