Pharmacists in the United States consider their roles challenging and dynamic, as they have evolved from mere product orientation (dispensing medicines) to patient focus (managing healthcare costs and disease states as well as patient counseling). The economic downturn has had much to do with this change in job profile, since pharmacists had to tackle additional tasks during that period. The increase in responsibilities left them with inadequate time to discharge their primary duties and has cut into their interaction time with patients.
New analysis from (pharma.frost.com) Frost & Sullivan Speaks Candidly with U.S. Pharmacists encompasses feedback provided by a healthcare pharmacist research panel consisting of 10 to 15 pre-selected participants. Questions posed to the pharmacist panel covered the following main topics: the role of the pharmacist, patient management services, pharmacy trends, information technology and applications, and future trends.
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“The slowdown has affected the number of pharmacists in the short term; however, their numbers are expected to grow by 17 percent between 2008 and 2018 from 269,900 to 315,800 pharmacists,” said a Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst. “This is as a result of increased demands, such as PharmD requirements, for all pharmacists, patient care, and mail-order pharmacies.”
Additionally, pharmacists indicate that they are a trusted and authoritative influence on patients’ purchase patterns, especially for prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
Pharmacists also claim that they are often considered medication experts and thereby, are viewed as important healthcare assets that are vital to improve medication safety. They even foresee a future where pharmacists will be able to prescribe.
“Pharmacists believe that impending trends in retail pharmacy include increased medication therapy management (MTM), volume, number of vaccinations offered, and consolidation through mergers and acquisitions,” said Frost & Sullivan Industry Manager Jennifer Brice. “They do not view Internet pharmacies as a threat to retail, as they believe they can generate footfalls through customer service.”
Frost & Sullivan Speaks Candidly with U.S. Pharmacists is part of the Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: U.S. Rheumatoid Arthritis Market: Assessment of Biologics and New Treatments; U.S. Skin Cancer Market; U.S. Contract Research Outsourcing Market: Trends, Challenges and Competition in the New Decade; U.S. Asthma/COPD Market; and 2010 U.S. Type 2 Diabetes Patients Choice: Awareness, Usage and Preferences of Insulin Injection Pens; among others. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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