We have recently launched a new service to equip our industry partners with the perspectives of key stakeholders so they can make more informed decisions about a problem area of strategic importance to their organisation.

To launch this new Task Force service, we brought together a multi-stakeholder group of experts who commented on key questions relating to the disruptive possibilities of virtual pharmacies on traditional retail pharmacies as well as other areas within the healthcare ecosystem.

Multi-stakeholder group of experts
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Key Take Aways
We wanted to share some key takeaways from this Task Force, as well as some follow up questions and reflections provided by our industry partners after viewing the summary report of the Task Force.

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Q1. What industries/stakeholders do you believe will change or will be disrupted by virtual pharmacies and how?

  • Traditional services that brick-and-mortar pharmacies have provided in the past five decades including, 1) Medication dispensing, 2) Medical services (e.g. minute clinics), and 3) Pharmacist Services
  • The pharmacists occupation may witness considerable disruption
  • Drug prescription and distribution patterns may need to change to accommodate a shift to virtual pharmacies

Q2: What are the positive and/or negative ways you believe virtual pharmacies will impact consumers/patients?

Positives

  • Convenience for the consumers is key (especially for the younger generation who are not as concerned with having a relationship with the pharmacist)
  • Lower prices for drugs
  • Availability (stock) of drugs is less likely to be an issue when buying through a virtual pharmacy

Negatives

  • Consumers don’t get access to the advice and instructions that is offered by pharmacists at the point of transaction/collection
  • Consumers may find it difficult in the scenario of a once off purchase of a drug that is needed immediately after being prescribed

Q3: What, in your opinion, are the barriers to the universal adoption of virtual pharmacies for drug prescription and dispensing?

  • Regulatory barriers restrict the freedom of distribution of certain medications, made more complex by the differences in state to state regulations in the US
  • Current E-Rx and other means of prescribing still have issues and errors, often relying on the pharmacy personnel to make corrections (the improvement to theseprocesses and technologies could also be seen as an opportunity if virtual pharmacies gain significant adoption)
  • Logistical barriers (focus on virtual pharmacies to date has been in densely populated urban areas)

After discussing these key takeaways with our industry partners, a number of interesting follow up questions came up including:

  • Is there data to show differences in adoption of virtual pharmacy solutions among different age groups?
  • What are the differences between mail order pharmacies and virtual pharmacies apart from it being ordered, tracked and managed online?
  • Is there differing levels of adoption based on the onboarding point with a virtual pharmacy? ie. recommended from a consultation over a telemedicine service or face to face in the clinic.

We would love to here your thoughts on these key take aways as well as other questions you would have asked the experts involved in this Task Force.

Whats next?

HealthXL have since launched a number of Task Forces on behalf of our industry partners. HealthXL will also be sponsoring a Task Force every month to share expert knowledge with the community within areas in need of innovation. The first of these to be released is focused on the role technology can play to improve the outlook of the opioid crisis in the US. Experts from a number of key touch points throughout the healthcare system are contributing, all of whom are based in regions deeply effected by high levels of opioid addiction.

If you have suggestions for areas you believe would benefit from expert commentary please comment or get directly in touch at taskforce@healthxl.org.

What can a Task Force do for you?
Equip you with the perspective of key stakeholders to make more informed decisions about a problem area of strategic importance to your organization.

Email taskforce@healthxl.org to learn more.

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