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Article by Daniel Morris, PREMED Columnist


This article is part of an ongoing PREMED Magazine interaction with pharmacists as well as hospital administrators in the Austin area.

On this part of "How Pharmacy is Evolving" we take a look at how increased efficiency across the pharmacological field is altering the business dynamic of pharmacies themselves.

Just like all sectors of the Medical Field, we are witnessing a convergence of data that is perhaps more impacting on the field of pharmacology than others. 

Why is this the case?

The once disparate chain of data that lead from a patient, to a doctor, to a hospital and ultimately to a drug manufacturer has dramatically changed. Not only is this a function of technological advances, but healthcare reform will accelerate this trend, according to Austin-area pharmacists and hospital administrators alike.

This increased efficiency will, according to experts, lead to numerous changes that patients as well as pharmacists will notice quickly. 

Patients will see more competitive prices per service rendered from pharmacies as cost-savings are passed on. 

On the flip side of this, pharmacies will see margins lowered as competition heats up to pass on such savings.

As margins fall, experts say that the main pharmacy role of "dispenser" will evolve into one with more service-centric duties to help the bottom line.

Ultimately, it will be patients who will benefit (in theory) from this squeezing of margins and increased efficiency; not just from cost-savings, but from an increase in service interaction from pharmacists themselves.

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