Technology Challenges (and Opportunities) For Pharmacy

Here’s the presentation that I’m going to deliver tomorrow (11/2/10) at the NCPDP education event in Portland.  The question posed was what are the busines models needed to survive and thrive in the new economy.  My mind immediately jumped to what are the challenges in the industry, what are the trends that got us to where we are, and how can pharmacies (or PBMs) think about turning these challenges into opportunities.

At the end of the day, I think there is still lots of white space for pharmacies to leverage technology to build relationships with their clients (consumers / customers / patients).  I think technology makes that scalable. 

One bias that I also have long-term is that (with the right economic model) retail pharmacies should focus on the acute drugs and new prescriptions and get compensated for the initial education and titration with the patient and the physician.  After that, maintenance drugs which are essentially just refills should be handled by the lowest cost option – kiosks, central fill, mail order.  I think that would encourage a different payment model centered around cognitive services and encourage greater collaboration between retail and the mail order pharmacies. 

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