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The pharmacy of the future: Hub of personalized health

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Retail pharmacies face shrinking margins in their core business and tougher competition in a shifting health industry. Yet these companies have the opportunity to redefine themselves as central players – and critical partners – in the New Health Economy.

The pharmacy of the future is not a monolith, but a convener of plug-and-play partners—traditional and new entrants—serving consumers as their “health hub."

Anemic reimbursements and industry consolidation are forcing retail pharmacy companies to look for new sources of revenue. Yet beyond tweaking the business model, there’s also a rare opportunity at hand. Retail pharmacies have the chance to redefine themselves, seizing new, more central roles as key players and partners in the New Health Economy.

Consumers have been quick to adopt retail pharmacies as their neighborhood sources of flu shots, strep tests and ear checks, along with milk, mascara and even maki rolls. Research suggests they would embrace more services if offered.

And yet, pharmacies are just beginning to leverage their assets and develop business models to relieve the pressure of filling more scripts, more quickly, at a lower cost. The value chain is being re-engineered by powerful global drivers—downward pressure on costs, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, an aging population, surging consumerism, the embrace of value-based models, the arrival of new entrants and transformative advances in technology. These forces are creating opportunities for retail pharmacies.


  • Meet the new MVP. One of the most valuable assets in delivering value-based solutions is the pharmacist, consistently named among the most trusted professionals in the health industry yet largely relegated to dispensing activities in the US.
  • Culture change is the elephant in the room. Disruption and innovation offer the promise of a brighter future, but only so far as they can bring the human elements of the process along for the ride.

  • Whitespace is the new black: data,technology and analytics. Investments in this space could return positive dividends.

  • Consumer expectations are rising. Tools that have classically been used in consumer-facing industries, will need to be applied more liberally to a healthcare setting to determine what, why and how services are delivered.

Contact us

Gurpreet Singh

US Health Services Leader, PwC US

Andrew Sofield

Principal, Health Industries, PwC US

Trine K. Tsouderos

Business Insights, Sectors Leader and Health Research Institute Leader, PwC US

Tel: +1 (312) 241 3824

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