Introducing Preparation to Opportunity


With the agility that technology increasingly affords businesses, new competition can come from unexpected places.

With the agility that technology increasingly affords businesses, new competition can come from unexpected places. For example, there’s a rumor that Apple is making an iCar—a bold grab for a piece of the auto industry’s “pie.” Will Apple’s past magic for market transformation and domination carry over into what is uncharted and, therefore, riskier territory for the tech giant?

Apple would be wise to note the story of Theranos—the promising blood-testing startup with a name that, appropriately, sounds like something from a Greek myth. If it were the latter, it would be a warning about what happens when our aspirations are disconnected from reality. In case you haven’t followed the story, Theranos claimed to have breakthrough technology that would allow quick, inexpensive blood tests to be performed on only a pinprick of blood, instead of having to obtain several whole vials. At one point, Theranos was valued at $9 billion and seemed poised to create a sea change in medical testing. Then CMS, which regulates laboratories, found several problems with Theranos, including one that posed “immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety” (ie, incorrect results from a blood clotting test used for patients who take warfarin).

I’m all for innovation, competition, and risk-taking, which thrive in the light of the free market and wither under the umbrella of government. But Business 101 says we can simultaneously lower our risk and increase our chances of success by doing our “homework” and not promising something we can’t deliver.

The more we know and the broader our skillsets, the better prepared we are when, not if, change and competition come to our workplaces. No doubt, there are physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who never imagined that pharmacists would become as patient oriented as they have, with the possibility of gaining national provider status. The ascent of pharmacists speaks to their agile response to a need in the primary care market.

Committed to keeping you up-to-date on technologic advances and their real (not imagined) clinical applications, Pharmacy Times has launched the new monthly series Pharmacogenomics Focus. Pharmacogenomics is no longer a “someday” subject; pharmacists need to get up to speed on it now. Last month, the authors of “The Role of Pharmacogenetics in Precision Medicine” emphasized that pharmacists, with their expertise in clinical pharmacology and patient care, are uniquely qualified to incorporate pharmacogenomics into medication therapy management. In this issue, the authors of “The Role of the Pharmacist in Pharmacogenetics” note that the top 5 causes of emergency hospitalizations due to adverse drug events are warfarin, insulin, oral antiplatelets, diabetes medications, and opioid pain medications. And the authors ask, “How many of the millions of adverse drug reactions and hospitalizations could be prevented if patients were consistently put on the right drug and the right dose based on their genetic makeup?”

As members of the health care team, pharmacists have a game-changing opportunity to clinically apply pharmacogenetic information in patient care. This is happening now, with pharmacists perfectly positioned to be key players, and Pharmacy Times here to help you keep pace.

Thank you for reading!

Mike Hennessy, Sr

Chairman and CEO

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