The Future Of Pharmacies In 3 Scenarios
The rapid development of medical technology affects every aspect of medicine and healthcare. Even the seemingly most remote and ivory-tower-like institution isn’t impervious to digital health disruption. We are, of course, talking about the pharmacy.
Although these institutions play a crucial role in the healing process, the impression about pharmacists and their drug store is often that they offer a type of commercial/business-like service. The doctor prescribes the appropriate medicine with the appropriate instructions, and the pharmacist provides it in exchange for money. In short, a clear business.
However, with the medical technological revolution, traditional, clear-cut roles become a thing of the past. Empowered patients have more agency over their health, while new technologies support the democratisation of care; shifting the hierarchical doctor-patient relationship to a partnership level. As patients of the 21st century evolve, so must pharmacies and pharmacists in the age of digital health. They have to redefine their place in medicine as well. A simple drug dispenser will not be enough in a shared and community-based economy.