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Part of Carebook’s Global Series: The Future of Pharmacy

Carebook’s Global Series: The Future of Pharmacy asks, “What’s the pharmacy of the future?” Thought leaders around the world share their ideas. In this interview, industry innovator, Roger Simard talks about the current opportunity to redefine pharmacy, to elevate the profession, and to give customers and patients more control of their health journeys.

There are expectations to decrease costs and increase quality of care

Medication cost is one of the biggest barriers to medication adherence, but in a world of big mergers and retail giants, pharmacies (especially independent ones) struggle to stay competitive in the market. With more to do, and less time, increasing quality of care means gaining efficiencies wherever possible. “For pharmacists,” Simard notes, “there is rising frustration with the inability to spend time with the humans in front of them and to work in an environment that is primarily pill distribution. Let’s face it, robots can dispense pills with better accuracy than any human. Pharmacy used to be lucrative in terms of distribution, but this is not the future. Pills are the same no matter where you get them. This is the time for the industry to shift and acknowledge pharmacists as well trained in care.”

There is an undervaluing of the role of pharmacists in the health care journey

Filling and refilling prescriptions is only part of the value pharmacists can offer their patients on the continuum of care. Pharmacists are on the front-line of care, often having more meaningful and more frequent opportunities to connect one-on-one with patients.(2) Offerings like immunizations, follow-up care, personalized medication adherence programs, and whole health, pharmacists can be valuable partners in the care ecosystem.(3) To improve health outcomes and revenue, pharmacists can offer greater value and personalization.

There is an increased focus on prevention and well-being that pharmacists can use to engage their customers.(4)

Beyond disease management and prevention, there is increasing recognition by health care stakeholders that there are more holistic factors that impact our health — including our environments, stressors, financial well-being, sense of purpose, community, etc. Pharmacies can play a bigger on the continuum of care by addressing more of the whole health journey.


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