Are pharmacies going out of style?

Are pharmacies going out of style?

Alex Burke

Now that new technologies and approaches to medicine are attracting investment capital, is healthcare set for a radical makeover?

We recently posed this question in an interview with Platinum Asset Management fund manager Bianca Ogden. Specifically, she considered what will become of the humble pharmacy.

Ogden said that while pharmacies “will be around,” they may evolve into something quite different.

“If we look at our lives,” she explained, “when we grew up, we always did the same thing: go to the doctor, then the doctor gives a diagnosis and writes up a prescription, then off we go to the pharmacy to fill the prescription.”

While this process has remained the same for some time, Ogden suggested considering the trajectory of the retail sector, considering “we don’t go to the shops as much anymore because you buy it all online.”

“So the question is,” she continued, “why would could that not be done in the pharmacy, where you basically go to the doctor and then, miraculously, sends the script to the pharmacy and then the drug gets sent to you at your home?”

She said this type of thinking could be taken a step further, where consultation with a doctor could be done via Skype or FaceTime.

“It’s basically a telehealth consultation,” she said. “You don’t actually have to go anywhere – you could even do it at work, quickly at your desk.

“All of these things will come eventually. You already have online pharmacies, and in other countries you have telehealth consultations, too. It’s definitely something we’re contemplating, regarding what will become of the humble pharmacy.”

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