Pharmacy Trends of 2018
Trends typically come and go, but it’s not necessarily true for the pharmaceutical sector. Things move at a slower pace due to setbacks and slow research. However, there are some changes coming in the next year, and here is what you need to look out for.
The Drug Supply Chain Security Act may have gone into effect in 2013, but some pharmaceutical companies have not caught up just yet. In 2018, we will see more companies refine their serialization processes in order to provide better electronic systems to ensure that medicines are authentic. It’s unfortunate that there are many drugs available that are stolen, counterfeit, contaminated, or simply harmful to the user. Many companies will be focusing on the transition from their business to supply chain partners and how those meds can be electronically verified. Small to mid-size companies have been struggling with the transition and have been advised to look to third-party implementation partners to ensure they meet the 2018 deadline.
A Drop in Drug Prices?
The high cost of medicine has long been an issue for consumers in the United States, and there is pressure on companies to lower their prices. Many companies are working hard to lower their costs in manufacturing in order to drop their prices. The downside to the possibility of a drop in the new year is due to the serialization requirements that need to be in effect next year. A new, added cost can either keep the prices where they are or add to the cost. Some companies are already considering streamlining their packaging as a way to absorb costs and be able to drop prices. It is possible that we will see a drop in price for some medicines next year, but we really will have to wait and see how things play out. With the hurricane in Puerto Rico this past summer, loss of medicines and some manufacturing ability can still impact some drug prices. Let’s cross our fingers that we do see a decrease and make it easier for our patients!
Possible Faster FDA Approvals for Generics
As we all know, the FDA is particularly quick with their approvals for medicines in general. Since the concern lies in patient safety, some don’t believe that we will see a faster approval rate for generic medications. It is argued that when the FDA increases the speed of their approval for generics, it raises the competitive playing field. That alone could cause the FDA to prioritize the generics for the public health systems and patients. We would love to see the FDA find a way to ensure patient safety while speeding up their processes so that our patients can certainly get their generics quicker.
Growth in Wearables and Personalized Medicines
Data is still being collected on the effectiveness of wearables and personalized medicines. Patients simply react differently in the real world as opposed to controlled testing environments. Technology is also improving at a rapid rate, so we expect many of these items to improve over the course of the next year. We certainly expect to see more wearables and personalized medicines to hit the market this next year and the years to come. Some patients may fight the progress due to the uncomfortable nature of wearing something that tracks your health so closely. It is important to keep encouraging them to embrace the change so that we can all work together to improve their overall health.
Besides these industry trends, what changes do you expect to make in 2018? Consider a change or improvement in your career. Check out our latest pharmacy jobs here.