Among the biggest trends to accelerate during the pandemic was the growth of telemedicine as well as pharmacy delivery with Amazon recently making its big anticipated move into the space and investors pouring millions into digital pharmacy startups. With all these seismic market shifts, 2021 looks like it will be another interesting year for the $400b pharmacy market.
Predictions For The Pharmacy Market
What can we expect for the future of pharmacy market in 2021? Insights and predictions from Cary Breese, the CEO and co-founder of NowRx, a tech-enabled pharmacy providing same-day and same-hour delivery of prescription medications:
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1) Amazon will continue to gain market share, particularly for low priced generic/cash paying customers. However, they will struggle with customer service issues regarding coordination between physicians, patients, and insurance for much of pharmacy, where a much higher touch and technology is required.
2) Smaller independent pharmacies will continue to survive by providing higher touch, specialized customer service across the spectrum of patient care. Pharmacies are the local centers of healthcare for most families and pharmacists and have a high degree of authority and respect in patient's lives. This will continue.
3) Large brick and mortar pharmacy chains will have to adapt or perish in the way of Blockbuster. In order to avoid this train wreck, they would need to develop critical features such as: A) fast reliable, automated dispensing; B) more convenient interactions with customers, C) convenient same-day delivery without extra fees being added (free same-day delivery), and D) better coordination with insurance and physicians to minimize friction and increase transparency.
The decades-old model of coming into brick and mortar locations and standing in line, not knowing if your insurance will pay for the medication or not, or if there are better, cheaper alternatives, and the time consuming coordinating with physicians regarding refills, needs to be transformed.
The new standard of the agile, automated technology-enabled virtual pharmacy that delivers to your door has arrived and is available across the country.