An article in the September issue of Harper’s Magazine titled “The Big Tech Extortion Racket” refers to Google, Facebook, and Amazon as the “middlemen.” The corporate business model in all three is about data ownership and the discriminatory practices that are used.
Amazon has rocked the foundation of brick-and-mortar retailers, forcing store closures and causing profits to plummet. Next up may be pharmacy. That’s the buzz, but pharmacy is not groceries. It’s not diapers. It’s not books. It is highly regulated, and run-of-the-mill prescriptions these days are not moneymakers. Specialty drugs are, but this is a different breed of pharmacy, one that I do not see fitting into the Amazon business model. Nevertheless, it could be a problem for community pharmacy, both chain and independent, if Amazon enters the pharmacy market.
PDMPs are becoming very important in addressing the opioid crisis we have in this country. When PDMPs were created, there was little use of the data that resided in their repositories. This has since changed. First, virtually every state requires prescribers and pharmacists to register with their PDMP. Second, many states now require prescribers to check the PDMP before writing an opioid prescription, under certain conditions.
Apps are being put into play that connect patient data with physicians to keep an eye on such things as blood pressure, blood glucose, and body temperature. We also read a lot about precision medicine and how it’s changing outcomes. All this is technology based.