The Future of Pharmacies Lies in Last Mile CareC
ompetition is heating up along the last mile as more industries modernize their operations to keep up with the changing retail landscape and meet customers’ growing demand for convenience. Several industries have been affected by the growth of eCommerce and the healthcare industry seems to be next on the list.
Amazon recently disrupted the pharmacy industry by purchasing PillPack, an online pharmacy start-up, which gives Amazon an immediate nationwide drug network and an open door into the $328.6 billion U.S. market for prescription drugs. As Amazon continues to move forward into the pharmacy industry, traditional players like drugstore chains and independent pharmacies will need to adapt their operations if they want to stay in the game.
The convenience and reliability of prescription drug delivery can enhance local pharmacy competitiveness and enable growth in the evolving healthcare industry.
Some drugstores have already begun. For example, CVS is piloting a prescription delivery membership service, CarePass, which includes free delivery on most prescriptions and other online purchases. According to Iqvia, about 90% of all prescriptions are filled at a pharmacy. While Amazon can offer fast and convenient deliveries, only brick-and-mortar pharmacies can offer one-on-one personal interaction and patient counseling that many patients appreciate.
The convenience and reliability of prescription drug delivery can enhance local pharmacy competitiveness and enable growth in the evolving healthcare industry. Drugstores and pharmacies can leverage the personal connection they have with their customers to provide customized, convenient, and customer-centric last mile delivery solutions to accommodate their patients’ needs. Delivering prescriptions directly to patients improves customer satisfaction and medication quality as it ensures that the medications are not left in mailboxes or on porches, potentially affecting the effectiveness of the medication.
Flexible delivery scheduling can remove barriers for patients by delivering prescriptions wherever the patient may be that day, whenever they are available.
Last mile delivery is especially valuable for pharmacies because some medication needs are urgent. For example, if a patient requires pain medication, waiting several days or even hours for a delivery is not an option. Flexible delivery scheduling can remove barriers for patients by delivering prescriptions wherever the patient may be that day, whenever they are available. Customers no longer have to leave their homes or travel to a pharmacy to pick up their prescriptions. Real-time updates lets customers know exactly where their medications are and when they will arrive. Customer support provides patients with real-time assistance and answers to all of their questions to ensure they get their medications when they need them.
Tailoring last mile delivery solutions to meet their patients’ expectations will give pharmacies the human touch they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.
Over the next several years, Amazon intends to shift the pharmacy operating model from brick-and-mortar to digital, lower prices, and make quick and convenient deliveries the standard. Brick-and-mortar pharmacies can leverage the relationships they have with their patients to give them a competitive advantage in the changing healthcare market. Tailoring last mile delivery solutions to meet their patients’ expectations will give pharmacies the human touch they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.