Two of the global trends facing the retail pharmacy industry are more face to face consultations about medicine and general healthcare and the growing websites of each retail pharmacy. Doctors, especially with Medicare D, are leaving more prescription to be explained by pharmacists. Not only prescriptions are being explained, but general healthcare issues. The higher volume in business is due to an older generation living longer with prescription medicines. The retail pharmacy industry is a billion dollar industry yearly worldwide, which could even escalate into a trillion dollar business yearly worldwide with in the next decade. Online merchants have been growing in number as well. The retail pharmacy industry must take advantage of websites in order to keep up with the technology. These two trends will impact the retail pharmacy industry within the next five to seven years. The first trend of more one on one consultation is due to the second trend of more patients. Doctors are becoming overwhelmed by the field of geriatrics. More and more elderly patients are seeking medical care, and thus prescriptions and other over the counter medicine. Doctors are seeing as many patients possible, leaving the prescription counseling to the retail pharmacy industry. Since doctors are busy, appointments take a month or more to receive. Thus elderly patients are coming to pharmacists with questions on routine nutrition, over the counter medicines, and common illnesses. The retail pharmacy industry is becoming the first stop for patients, instead of the doctor’s office. Thus more one on one consultation would be routinely done daily. If the rise in consultations continues, the need for more retail pharmacy industry consultants and pharmacists will also rise. This would mean more training for retail pharmacy industry jobs. That would create a need for teachers, curriculum, and students relating to the retail pharmacy industry. It would also be necessary to recruit individuals interested in this type of work field. A lack of personnel in the retail pharmacy industry could hurt the industry. In order to take advantage of the billion-trillion dollar need, personnel must be interested and trained for the retail pharmacy industry. Online services are showing up for most major retail pharmacies. These online services can be convenient. Doctors can place prescriptions on secure websites. Customers can transfer existing prescriptions. Consultants are made available online. This is through live consultants and frequently asked questions sections. The brick pharmacy has become an online pharmacy for the active customer. In order to fulfill the online need of the retail pharmacy industry, each individual pharmacy needs an online worker. If the worker is not a pharmacist, then the worker must be able to print out transfer, new, and refill prescriptions ordered online. The online worker must be able to input the information into the pharmacy’s data base. Finally, the online consultant must be able to consult with consumers online. Depending on the retail pharmacy, a consultant on hand twenty-four hours a day would be preferred. This will require more training for that specific job. No matter how one looks at the problem, the World Wide Web is the future. The global trends facing the retail pharmacy industry must be addressed, not only by the local retail pharmacy in America, but by every retail pharmacy worldwide. Every retail pharmacy must face the geriatric situation facing their population. Every retail pharmacy must conquer the online world. If these two problems are not addressed properly, the retail pharmacy industry could see a major drop in profits. Although more expensive, hospital pharmacies could replace retail pharmacies if customers go to the hospitals for not taking their medications or trust is lost in the retail pharmacies. This can be prevented if the retail pharmacies take care of their elderly customers and have viable websites.
Global trends affecting the retail pharmacy industry in the next 57 years