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The Dose: May 2018 Issue

The Dose a pharmacy staffing blog


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New Medicaid Strategy Could Lead to Threefold Increase in Access to HCV Treatment


By 2030, the U.S. aims to reduce the incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) by 90%. A major factor in achieving this goal involves a new purchasing strategy for Medicaid.


The strategy would incentivize pharmaceutical companies to vie for the best government contract, whereby the leading company for HCV treatment would receive a lump-sum payment of $200 million from the state government and, in return, offer a 100% rebate for drug purchases for the state’s Medicaid beneficiaries.


With this strategy, the manufacturer increases profit, while the state and federal governments can save money and potentially expand treatment threefold. Check out the full article for more details.


How the Digitization of Healthcare is Changing Pharmacy


Emerging technologies like integrated delivery networks and electronic health systems are revolutionizing the pharmaceutical industry. These digital tools have refined how the clinicians research, select, prescribe, administer and evaluate drug products, leading to better outcomes for patients.


Specifically, pharmacists and other healthcare providers can now see exactly how patients are using prescribed treatments. This data is crucial, especially since patient noncompliance is a leading challenge in the industry. A reported 75 percent of patients do not consistently take their prescribed medications as directed.


As GlaxoSmithKline’s global head of digital innovation Andrew Ploxzay, Ph.D., shares, “We could start to know whether or not someone is taking the prescribed medication and how that relates to their health status. The health care system at large has never had access to that data so that’s a really interesting place for us.”


Alibaba and the Future of Pharmacy


Integrated delivery networks and electronic health systems aren’t the only technologies changing pharmacy though. Automation is another force rippling throughout the industry.


This week, China’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturer Alibaba announced its “future pharmacy” that relies on remote access and automation to deliver care to patients.


This new model unfolds as follows: First, the patient has an online consultation with a doctor. If a prescription is needed, then the patient picks up their medication, test and/or device from the pharmacy, without having to pay a deposit to take it home. If the treatment is over-the-counter, then the patient can simply buy it from one of the pharmacy’s vending machines that uses facial recognition as a security measure.


Alibaba is the first to adopt this model on a large scale, but it may only be a matter of time until it spreads to the global market. Whether or not it does depends entirely on Alibaba’s success.