Pharmacists are often left out of some healthcare conversations, but that will be changing with current healthcare trends and policies. Today’s pharmacist plays a tremendous role in affecting patient health outcomes, patient adherence on medication, and, therefore, pharmaceuticals sales. The value of pharmacists in today’s healthcare is an ever changing one. The many nontraditional roles of today’s PharmD graduates have proven to be very beneficial to the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmacists can impact pharmaceutical companies because they educate patients and advise other healthcare professionals on the drug treatment of diseases to ensure optimal health outcomes. Moreover, they are in charge of formularies and manage Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) committees at healthcare institutions, insurance companies, and pharmacy benefit management (PBM) companies.
Pharmacists help improve medication compliance. On average about 75% of adults fail to adhere to, or comply with physician prescribed treatment regimens (PhRMA, 2011). According to Capgemini Consulting and HealthPrize Technologies (2012), a company that makes a patient adherence software platform, U.S. revenue loss from medication non-adherence is a whopping $188 billion. Studies have linked an increase in patient adherence to an increase in drug revenue.
Today’s pharmacists, advise doctors on better drug regimens for patients and thus affect treatment and patient outcomes. That alone has a direct influence on doctors prescribing habits. In the past, pharmaceutical sales representatives helped to drive sales through doctor interaction, but their lack of clinical expertise and training about drugs has posed a major obstacle for many pharmaceutical sales representatives. Pharmacists are clinical experts and know the “ins and outs” of drug therapies. Pharmacists have a direct link to patients and drug management; a more patient-centric drug regimen will promote adherence, which translates to more revenue for pharmaceutical companies.
According to whitehouse.gov (2010) as the new healthcare reform starts to take shape, it will introduce thirty-two million newly insured people to affordable healthcare, guaranteeing that 95% of Americans will be covered. It improves Medicare benefits with lower prescription drug costs. That inevitably means more people will be taking drugs. Pharmacist have long been able to provide product information to healthcare professional and more now than before to patients. Hopefully, pharmacists soon will play a greater role in healthcare by gaining prescriber status.
Given the role of pharmacists in the healthcare system and their expertise in medication management, it is a good strategy for pharmaceutical companies to build a stronger relationship with pharmacists.
About the Author
Peter Isikwe is completing a doctorate in pharmacy at the university of New England and is passionate about healthcare, especially pharmaceuticals. View his profile and connect with him on LinkedIn.
Comment on this article or post an article by joining the RxEconsult community.
Please Share on Your Social Networks