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5 Trends in Healthcare and Pharmacy to Lookout for in the Decade 2020

In the last ten years, we have seen many trends emerge in the pharmacy and healthcare industry including data optimization, many legislative changes, and more. While we will continue to see those trends, what does the next decade have in store for us? Here are six trends in healthcare and pharmacy to look for in the next ten years.

Pharmacists offering a broad range of healthcare services

According to an article by Drug Store News, advances in technology are going to help pharmacists offer even more healthcare services. In the last few years, we have seen pharmacists evolve from just filling prescriptions to providing basic healthcare services such as blood pressure screenings, Medication Therapy Management (MTM), administering immunizations, and so much more. In the next ten years, we can only expect for the pharmacist’s role to evolve even more.

DIR fees will still make an impact on pharmacies

In 2019, DIR Fees were a major legislative issue that still continue to make an impact into 2020. According to NACDS, “DIR fee relief must be part of the effort by Congress and the Trump Administration to reduce drug prices and to bring transparency to the system.” Without any change, NACDS says that DIR fees will continue putting pharmacies out of business and inflate the prices seniors pay for prescriptions through Medicare.

Mail-Order Pharmacy

Just last year, we saw the shift in mail-order pharmacy with the Amazon acquisition of PillPack. In an article by Drug Topics, pharmacist Raj Jhala, PharmD, said, ““From my perspective, with Amazon entering the prescription market with PillPack, and Walmart, Costco, and CVS offering delivery, brick and mortar shops will have to move in this direction. Every year from here on out will see a greater trend toward delivery.”

Health Centers or “Hubs”

As pharmacists’ roles have evolved with time, pharmacies are also evolving. Health centers or “hubs” will become more popular in the coming years. Health centers or hubs are similar to pharmacies but offer a much wider range of services. In an article by Drug Store News, a large pharmacy retailer said, “Customers tell us they want local access to convenient, personalized and integrated health care. Our HealthHub locations do just that helping to elevate the store into a community-based health care destination where consumers can engage people they trust, who are accessible and knowledgeable, to help bring everything together in a better health experience at a lower cost.”

Using technology to connect with patients

Technology improves every day and people are incorporating technology into their daily lives more and more. In the last few years, technology has made many strides in pharmacy including Amazon’s Alexa reminding patients of prescription refills, pharmacists’ ability to text patients, and more. In the next decade, we will see technology being used to connect with patients even more. In the same article from Drug Topics above, a pharmacist Brian Nightengale, RPh, president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy, said, “Technology, such as social media and mobile apps, has aided in the pharmacist’s role and expanded their reach. It has allowed the pharmacist’s knowledge to extend from the pharmacy directly to the hands of their patients, no matter where they are, to create a better patient experience and improve adherence. We expect technology to impact the overall customer experience model and increase the importance of connecting the pharmacy’s physical and digital presence.”

What do you think is going to be the biggest trend in the next decade? Comment below!

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