Bill Lockwood, Chairman/Publisher
Bill Lockwood, Chairman/Publisher

Can you imagine what it would be like running your pharmacy without the technology you are using? Technology dependency is very evident across all walks of life.

The current chip shortage is causing auto manufacturers to idle plants. The ripple effect in the supply chain is being felt all the way down to the dealers.

Disruption from the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline, which transports approximately 45% of the gasoline and jet fuel consumed on the East Coast, is another example of our dependency on technology.

Dependency on biotechnology is what led to the exceptionally short time it took to develop the COVID-19 vaccines.

The term “virtual” took on new meaning during the pandemic. Work-from-home became the new norm, enabled by the technology we use every day. This country would have come to a standstill without the technology at our disposal.

Pharmacy was fortunate to be given an “essential business” status during the early days of COVID-19 and allowed to stay open. As it turned out, pharmacy took a leadership role in providing COVID-19 testing and followed this with a pivotal role in giving vaccinations. Documentation of the vaccinations and reporting of such to the immunization registries is made possible by the computer technology pharmacies use.

Which leads me to the point that not enough recognition is given to the pharmacy technology infrastructure in place. There is a value that should be placed on this in the reimbursements pharmacies receive. But this has not been the case. My take is that computers have become so pervasive in every business and profession that use of the technology is a given to be able to stay in business.

Now to another point, and that is the current plight of Intel. Remember the days when PCs came with a slogan, “intel inside”? However, in an article in the April 12 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek titled, “The Decline of a Great American Tech Company: How Intel lost its way,” the authors point out that the company missed out with the chips used in smartphones and is dealing with manufacturing delays on its next-generation chip. Here is a company, founded by Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, that many credit with the start of the chip industry but is no longer the dominant player. NVIDIA, designer of graphics processors, is now the most valuable U.S. chip company. And Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon are designing their own chips. They are no longer dependent on Intel.

We have become a society that is technology dependent. CT