Timothy Aungst, PharmD
Timothy Aungst, PharmD
Timothy Dy Aungst, PharmD, is an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at MCPHS University. He graduated from Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy and completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at St. Luke's University Hospital, and then a Clinical Geriatric Fellowship at MCPHS University. He is passionate about the rise of technology in health care and its application to pharmacy. He has published primarily on the role of mobile technology and mHealth, and made multiple national and international presentations on those topics. He blogs at TheDigitalApothecary.com, and you can find him on Twitter @TDAungst.

Want to Work for Amazon? You May Get the Chance Soon

MAY 17, 2017
A recently published article by Christina Farr (@chrissyfarr) at CNBC covers the background chatter of a potentially new player in the pharmacy space, namely Amazon. 
 
Basing the report on information from Amazon's recent business meeting in Seattle, she describes how several insiders have been discussing that Amazon seeks to get into the pharmacy business and capitalize on the health care business front.

While Jeff Bezos had been involved in DrugStore.com in the 90s, this will harken a return to the online drug market for him. Currently, they are hiring some more staff for their health care arm, most likely trying to figure out how to navigate the regulatory arm of this venture. Interestingly, according to a report from Japan Times, Amazon has been doing something similar, where local pharmacists would approve medications for delivery to patients. Though again, laws and regulations surrounding pharmaceutical and dispensing rules are vastly different between the US and Japan so this is not an automatic definite proof of market services.
 
So what can we look forward to?
 
Just imagine it. Drone delivered medications. Same day delivery. Points on your Amazon Prime Account. And of course, recommended products for your health and needs because they will figure out your past medical history from all this and make money off of your health. Got diabetes? Here's some great foods/snacks that are healthy for you!
 
In all seriousness, if this does eventually go through it poses some competition to other large scale players in the pharmacy space, which may be of some benefit for costs to patients. Some believe it could help with cost transparency, and others think it could pose some competition to the big PBMs. The other fact that we see an increase in online pharmacy delivery companies demonstrates that there is a growing market and funding for such business practices.
 
Nonetheless, where does that leave the pharmacists? I won't lie, I keep seeing ads pop up for jobs at local Amazon warehouses. Will we start seeing positions for pharmacists in the future like that? Would they be work-from-home remote jobs,? How about patient counseling, would that be a place where Amazon uses telemedicine services?

Navigating the whole e-prescribing sphere, and federal/state pharmacy laws seem daunting on this level to be quite honest, but if Amazon sees a potential multibillion market here and the technology is in their favor, we may see some rapid changes to employment shortly.

Reference
1. Farr C. Amazon is hiring people to break into the multibillion-dollar pharmacy market. market. CNBC. zhttp://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/16/amazon-selling-drugs-pharamaceuticals.html. Accessed May 17, 2017. 



SHARE THIS SHARE THIS
11

Become a Respimat Top Performer 

Get to know RESPIMAT, the slow-moving mist inhaler from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 

Watch the RESPIMAT video and test your knowledge with a short multiple-choice quiz. When you get all the answers right, you’ll receive a certificate naming you a RESPIMAT T.O.P. Performer. Why not check it out today? 

 

Pharmacy Times Strategic Alliance
 

Pharmacist Education
Clinical features with downloadable PDFs


Next-Generation Pharmacist® Awards


3rd Annual Convenient Healthcare and Pharmacy Collaborative Conference


SIGN UP FOR THE PHARMACY TIMES NEWSLETTER
Personalize the information you receive by selecting targeted content and special offers.