Today, top innovations are all about challenge for simplicity and authenticity. In the contrary, costly and ostentatious consumption dissolves.
The consumer wants something simple, safe and cheap. Fortunately, the financial crises of recent years have established restraint.
What we once believed that "only a big brand is of reliable quality and a good buy" is over.
In this environment, the pharmacy must also find its place in innovation. Starting with development of OTC products and other innovative product categories.
So it makes a new start and looks for the right path it must follow.
Everything is a matter of will
For the past twenty years, pharmacy innovation has mostly focused on two key areas: automation as digital transformation and interior renovation.
Today there are more innovations! The role of the pharmacist in the healthcare system, the availability and promotion of OTC drugs in front of the counter, the new categories that are being developed…, all these are innovations, provided of course that the pharmacists utilize and exploit them.
But how many of them do not stand out due to lack of will?
More than financial, technical or cognitive means, innovation is primarily a matter of will and state of mind.
We must be ready to accept it or challenge it, apply it and take advantage of it with enthusiasm!
This requires getting rid of the trivial, to get away from the way we used to work as drug distributors.
Innovate towards the customer
Unfortunately, even today, the pharmacist remains the last carrier of the drug distribution chain, and the pharmacy a mere place of delivery.
Space layout as well as team training were always oriented to this mode of operation: to execute the prescription simply and quickly and most of times, quietly.
This needs to change. In such a context, you cannot give advice, listen and pay attention to your client.
More specifically, the general belief that pharmacists are only useful for distributing drugs must stop!
A health professional with recognized knowledge, who enjoys respect and trust from his customers, the pharmacist is easily accessible without an appointment!
He has the knowledge to deal more with disease prevention.
This role must be recognized by the state and especially by the insurance funds.
In order to undertake this prevention mission, the pharmacist will have to turn his pharmacy into a real health center, where he will mainly deal with health advice and services and will have to claim reward for it.
Imagine that a future innovative pharmacy will consist of three areas of equal importance: one for prevention and control, one for execution of prescriptions, and finally, a space for beauty and wellness.
Execution of prescriptions, although an important act, is no longer enough for the pharmacy, which will now be at the forefront of preventive practices for public health.
Upon entering the pharmacy, the customer will have the opportunity to make the necessary health checks, to talk to his pharmacist about his health problem and if necessary, he will later consult a doctor. This is true primary care.
Opening up to other health professions
An innovation for the pharmacy is therefore to cooperate with other health areas, in addition to the distribution of drugs and indicating the dosage on their packaging.
This is a necessary change for the profession, especially necessary, because as life expectancy increases, so do patients' expectations for health care.
General practitioners cannot satisfy everyone. Life expectancy has reached 85 years on average, but health problems such as joints and cholesterol make people's daily lives difficult.
The pharmacist can help his elderly customers to have a more comfortable and quality life, taking good care of their body.
Diet, exercise, and generally healthy lifestyle tips may well be provided at the pharmacy, if you work with other health professionals such as a dietitian, nurse, physiotherapist or beautician.
All pharmacies have software tools to enhance data exploitation, accessible and updated daily.
Innovation equals the provision of personalized health care services based on each customer's data.
The specialization and personalization of offers, depending on customer demand, would be two trends around which innovation develops, in the pharmacy, but also in general society.
Innovate in teamwork
The pharmacist's role in monitoring chronic illness, home care, and preparing doses for medication is invaluable.
Increasing isolation of the elderly can increase treatment errors, which will lead to more iatrogenic accidents, costly for social security and dangerous for the patient.
Check the drug interactions and their effectiveness, solve the patient's compliance problems...
So many actions that highlight to the pharmacist the role he deserves.
The care professional is the nurse. The prescription professional is the doctor.
So the medicine professional is the pharmacist! If we put all these professionals in the same collaboration team, we will achieve better results.