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The Dose: April 2018 Issue

The Dose a pharmacy staffing blog


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Record Low in Opioid Prescriptions


Over the last year, opioid prescriptions have experienced the biggest drop we’ve seen in 25 years. Research from the health information and clinical research consultant firm IQVIA showed an 8.9% decline in the number of opioid prescriptions filled by retail and mail-order pharmacies nationwide.


As the firm’s research director Michael Kleinrock said, “We’re at a really critical moment in the country when everybody’s paying attention to this issue. People really don’t want [opioids] if they can avoid them.” This trend is a hopeful sign that the opioid crisis is drawing to a close.


Barriers to the Amazon Take-Over


Many pharmacists worry about the potential for Amazon to disrupt the pharmaceutical industry with virtual retail options and fast delivery, but as billionaire hedge-fund manager Larry Robbins points out, the costs for Amazon to enter the space would far outweigh the benefits.


For one, the company would need to build separate facilities for selecting, packing and shipping pharmaceuticals. They wouldn’t be able to commingle prescription drugs with their other merchandise. Plus, they’d need to convince hospitals to buy pharmaceuticals from them, instead of the hospitals’ already long-established retail connections. Unsurprisingly, Amazon hasn’t had much success on that front.


It seems invading the pharmaceutical space is one uphill battle not even Amazon can win. Pharmacists can rest-assured that Amazon won’t be taking over the industry anytime soon.


Global ID Market Trends for 2018-2022


Research and Markets published a global forecast for the ID diagnostics market, analyzing the industry’s growth and factors contributing to it. Here are some of the study’s highlights:


  • From 2017 to 2022, the market is projected to grow $4.62 billion at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6%.

  • The main factors responsible for this growth are: (1)  the increasing global prevalence of infectious diseases, (2) the shift from centralized laboratories to decentralized point-of-care testing and (3) the growth in research funding for ID diagnostics.

  • Among disease types, hepatitis diagnostics accounted for the largest share of the market in 2017, beating out other segments like HAIs, CT/NG, PPV, TB and Influenza.

  • Among diagnostic technologies, immunodiagnostics accounted for the largest share of the market in 2017, beating out other segments like clinical microbiology, PCR, INAAT, DNA sequencing & NGS and DNA microarrays.

  • Among regions, North America accounted for the largest share of the market, due to our advanced healthcare system, the increasing prevalence of IDs and national clinical labs and our accessibility to advanced technologies.


For additional findings, here’s a detailed review of the study.