COVID-19 – impact on pharmacies
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Effects of changed order behavior
The pandemic changed the behavior of many people around the world. Online orders were raised to new records as people had to stay at home and shops were closed. This affected the health care sector including retail.
Community pharmacies were open during the entire pandemic as they are offering public health services which is essential. Despite this, they were affected by the changed order behavior, in the US, 90% of the smaller pharmacies had to apply for federal aid. So pharmacies are now looking for new services to offer to their customers to improve customer loyalty and support patient wellness.
Benefits of pouch packaging
Pouch packaging could offer lots of advantages to retail pharmacies, especially in pandemic situations. Individual pouches can be offered to patient without touch, so this is the most hygienic and secure way to avoid an infection caused by preparing the medication taking into count all the benefits of social distancing. Also, it reduces time for preparing the medication. A study revealed a timesaving of about half a minute per prescription.
In times with crowded hospitals, it is more important than ever that diseases caused by medication non-adherence are avoided. Today, nearly the half of all chronic patients do not take their medication correctly. This does not only cause high costs but is a heavy health risk for the patients. By offering the service of individual pouches to their customers, pharmacies can take care of the entire prescription schedule and prepare all the medication for a patient on a regular basis, e.g. monthly, avoiding separate on site-consultations and pick-ups.
Offering new services and technologies to the customers also means to save the future of the retail pharmacy. Pharmacies are getting more efficient at using new technology and will attract new customers. One pillar could be pouch packaging, offering a touch-free service, social distancing and increased medication adherence.
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