The pharmaceutical industry is in crisis, and is being driven to radical change. The net stock market value of the major pharmaceutical companies has decreased by 2/3rds in the last decade. The era of blockbuster drugs is coming to a close. It will be less and less likely that your physician will prescribe the latest, greatest drug; rather they will choose a well-established, likely generic drug.
The delivery of healthcare is also facing significant pressures. As the baby boomers retire and move the stage of life when they will need the most healthcare services, there is a developing shortage of physicians – many of whom are baby boomers.
So if you have well-established treatments and fewer physicians to deliver them, some form of automation is inevitable.
At the same time, patients are demanding far greater involvement in their care and treatment. The balance of power will inevitably shift. As Harvey Lefton recently said in an article in Physicians News Digest:
“In the past, information was available only to the high priests and highly educated few. The Guttenberg Printing Press ushered in an era where the Bible and scholarly works were eventually available to the masses. We have now entered an era where the multitudes of patients throughout the world will find access to medical information and opinions and participate in their own medical care through the revolution of the smartphone technology.”
“A quarter of Americans trust symptom checker websites, symptom checker mobile apps or home-based vital monitors as much as they do their doctor, and about an equal proportion use these resources instead of going to the doctor (27%)”