It's no secret the Canadian pharmaceutical industry is strong. The market is set to grow from $22.6 billion in 2016 to $25 billion in 2021, according to a study by GlobalData, a research and consulting firm.1 As one of the leading countries for clinical trials, combined with the country's strong research and development initiatives and its growing population of older adults, Canada's drug manufacturers, distributors and retailers are enjoying a boom.
By exploring some of the top technology trends in Canadian pharmaceutical sales, distribution and development, manufacturers and retailers alike can find new ways to drive profitability.
Transform pharmacies into health management centres
As margins on drugs shrink, pharmacies are seeking out ways to provide greater value to their customers. Many are doing so by providing services like vaccinations, blood pressure screenings and health and wellness clinics.
Some are even taking their level of care a step further thanks to the combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and telemedicine, such as prescribed portable electrocardiogram (EKG) device that continuously monitors heart rhythms. Access to this data helps patients and their healthcare providers take a more proactive role in maintaining their wellness.
By using AI and patient monitoring technology to measure the relationships between preventative care and patient outcomes, pharmacists can enhance their health services to include helpful recommendations based on data they are able to accumulate and process.
Ensure fast delivery and adequate inventory
For brick-and-mortar, online and even long-term care pharmacies, inventory management and high-volume dispensing of medications can help prevent delays and shortages of crucial medications and vaccines. The use of RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology can help improve the speed and accuracy of dispensing medications to patients within the pharmacy. The technology effectively transmits information about different types of medication, dosages and even potential drug interactions.
In addition, inventory management software that taps into purchase history and drug spend data is enabling “just in time" delivery of products, eliminate excess inventory to reduce drug waste and streamline drug receiving.
Serve as an Rx for funding
Wholesalers leverage technology to get the right drugs in the hands of their customers quickly. Meanwhile, pharmacists use similar tools to make sure they are delivering the right drugs to the right patients. Leveraging third-party tools and negotiating with suppliers to employ the best payment methods for both groups can help local pharmacies improve cash flow.
Solutions like those offered by like American Express® allow pharmacists to extend their cash on hand by enabling them to pay for inventory electronically with unsecured credit and up to 55 interest-free days* to pay their business card balance in full. This allows them to better manage their cash flow, getting the inventory they need and paying manufacturers and distributors on time while having the flexibility to hold on to their funds for longer.
Combined with AI and data analysis software that can help pharmacists gauge inventory to keep the right drugs in stock when needed, financial tools can help propel Canadian pharmacies into an increasingly efficient and profitable future.
Finding success with high-tech tools
The challenges of inventory management, cash flow and rapid service are only amplified for online drug retailers. But online forms also provide easy, unobtrusive ways to gather customer data to provide better service. Online pharmacies can connect with their customers by email, text or mobile device to ensure prescriptions are refilled as needed.
Through the use of technology and aggregation of customer data, pharmacies are better equipped to serve their customers better and step into the role of trusted advisor to patients.
* As a charge card, the balance must always be paid in full each month in which no interest charges will apply. The interest free grace period is 28, 29, 30 or 31 days from the closing date of the current statement to the closing date of the next statement depending on the number of days in the calendar month in which the closing date occurs. The number of interest-free days varies based on a variety of factors, including when charges are posted to your account, whether your account is in good standing, and the closing date of your statement.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or an opinion on any issue. It should not be regarded as comprehensive or a substitute for professional advice.