2021 – The Year of the Pharmacist

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic set forth the complexities of an exhausted medical infrastructure and a desire to include more of the essential health care services such as pharmacists.  There’s no denying that the pandemic has transformed the culture and the way people live every day.

Pharmacy businesses have new problems every year and there is no distinction between 2020 and 2021. Several new developments will transform the pharmaceutical industry in 2021, beginning with the need to rapidly adjust post-Covid 19 by overcoming the dissemination of disinformation online and planning for a different era of working.

According to a report published by CVS Health, in 2021, pharmacists will take on larger roles and, lest we forget, help administer the world’s most-awaited vaccine rollouts.

Here are the key trends that will shape the pharmacy industry to investors’ delight.

Machine Learning & Remote Communication Tools 

There has been a shift to online channels with sales and marketing that facilitate remote communication with doctors. Clinical research investigators have expanded the use, in line with the transition of interactive trials of the remote patient control & connected device. Manufacturers must speed up technology implementation to mitigate future risk to supply chains such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and digital twins. 

Another way to help patients is by taking advantage of the data boundaries. In the handling of chronic diseases, machine learning insights are particularly beneficial.

Insights from machine learning can allow pharmacists to monitor the chronic illnesses of their patients. At CVS certain pharmacies are included in a pilot initiative where a medical and pharmaceutical analysis engine routinely screens patients at risk for non-compliance or adverse results. The engine then gives these patients the priority of a pharmacist’s one-to-one counselling.

Rise of E-Pharmacy Market

The E-Pharmacy market is estimated at around USD 60.430.14 million by 2020; in 2026, the projected revenues are USD 136.160.27 million with a CAGR of 13.84% over the projection period – according to a report published on the E-pharmacy market by Reportlinker.com. A dramatic increase over the COVID-19 pandemic is anticipated in the market surveyed. Owing to the lockdown and travel restrictions and the risk of infection by SARS-CoV2, online pharmacy purchases of over-the-counter and prescription medications have increased dependency. Doctor visits are now replaced by virtual teleconsultations, leading to digital prescriptions being produced. Similarly, different tactics are being developed to tackle the current pandemic. In March 2020, for example, CVS Health started implementing new actions aimed at balancing the demand for off-label use of both COVID-19 and other chronic diseases. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pattern of non-contact delivery has risen during the current crisis, increasing the demand for E-pharmacy as a by-product.

Addressing Socioeconomic Influences

According to a report published in the AJMC about one-third of all U.S. deaths, last year were socioeconomic causes but attempts to resolve health social determinants in conventional medical environments were difficult. Pharmacists have the potential to help people face social health challenges including food insecurity. They discovered that patients were not only transparent and able to discuss social needs with their doctors but in many cases listened to and acted on pharmacists’ suggestions and advice.

CVS also launched a new initiative called HealthTag that includes local pharmacists in their prescription bags with pharmacy instructions and information about how to get support from their local government programs in food, housing, and transportation.

The Over-the-Counter Drug Segment

Over the forecast period, the over-the-counter drug segment is prepared for the fastest profitability rise. The segment’s growth is driven strongly by major industrial developments such as switching Rx to OTC by pharmaceutical producers, increasing tendency for self-prescription in developed areas, and cost-saving benefits for consumers. Additionally, the economic gains earned from the use of OTC pharmaceuticals are attributed to reductions in medication costs and costs accrued during the clinical visit. In developing economies this factor has a major impact on vertical growth.

To Conclude…

In 2021, pharmacy remains the most popular healthcare touchpoint all around the world. According to a recent National Pharmacist Workforce study, pharmacists have played more important positions than ever before, including counselling, and referring patients to other resources. During the pandemic, pharmacists have become trusted specialists and experts and the trend will continue into 2021.

The pharmaceutical industry is bound to develop. While trustworthy approaches and practices are reliable, innovation is inevitable, particularly on a market that should be as looking ahead as this one. Small and large companies pursue fresh and creative ways of staying competitive in this field of the health industry, but with a different angle.

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