Pharmacy Times article: Future of drone delivery threatens to change retail pharmacy business models

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PAtoPharm

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Here is a link to a recent Pharmacy Times article that discusses some recent corporate mumblings regarding the potential invasion of drone delivery into the retail pharmacy business:

http://www.pharmacytimes.com/public...tunities-set-to-become-mainstream-in-pharmacy


Let's keep my own personal saga out of this. Based on what the article says, how do you think retail pharmacy delivery and staffing models are going to change as drone delivery is introduced to and presumably takes a foothold in the industry?

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Shouldn't you be more focused on your plan B?
 
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Is the drone also going to counsel on the new medication as required by most states?
 
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Is the drone also going to counsel on the new medication as required by most states?

Good point. If it's unlikely that the law requiring medication counseling will be repealed, then it seems like a centralized counseling model (e.g., where each pharmacist working for the company works from a cubicle or from home and virtually verifies prescriptions for multiple patients from his/her location) similar to what is common with mail order companies would be introduced.
 
I don't see how this is fundamentally different than mail order or retail delivery services. It's just a friendly drone instead of a friendly mailman or friendly delivery person. So what? It might eliminate delivery jobs but I don't see how it will affect pharmacist.

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Shouldn't you be more focused on your plan B?

... I'm embarrassed it didn't occur to me to post this as a response to you earlier, but based on how the future is looking, don't you think you should also start coming up with a plan B?
 
Like its been said drone= mail order. If my customers want mail order they would already do it.
 
There are many reasons why people don't like mail-order, and for these same reasons, people won't like drone-delivery either. Mail order has it's market, and its existed since the late 80's, but I believe the majority will prefer regular pharmacies.
 
We had a delivery robot at my last job. I'm not sure how much it effected the staffing levels, but it did cause me to quote Star Wars every time I saw it.
 
... I'm embarrassed it didn't occur to me to post this as a response to you earlier, but based on how the future is looking, don't you think you should also start coming up with a plan B?
Based on our private conversation, you should know I have a Plan B, C, D and E. It doesn't require me to withdraw more loans or waste more years of my life. I honestly do wish the best for you so no need to be embarrassed that you didn't think of your witty response earlier. I simply am failing to understand why you keep bringing up topics within the pharmacy field when you claim you have nothing invested in it anymore. This article is a valid discussion point from literally anyone but you since you keep harping the sky is falling and you are leaving the field.

and like others have mentioned, this is no different than mail order. If you are really interested in how drones will work, lets first watch how it works out for Amazon and if they are able to expand this past major cities before we concern ourselves on how this will impact the pharmaceutical world.
 
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Here is a link to a recent Pharmacy Times article that discusses some recent corporate mumblings regarding the potential invasion of drone delivery into the retail pharmacy business:

http://www.pharmacytimes.com/public...tunities-set-to-become-mainstream-in-pharmacy


Let's keep my own personal saga out of this. Based on what the article says, how do you think retail pharmacy delivery and staffing models are going to change as drone delivery is introduced to and presumably takes a foothold in the industry?

1. No changes for quite a while. Doubt drones bring significant cost savings/risk decrease delivering rx. Plus counseling points. Lots of prescription customers are old, they probably hate drones.

2. I have read a bit about your personal saga and will comment here.
2a. Have you already paid this semester tuition? If so is it refundable?
2b. Rphs have been crying about jobs new grads since at least 2009, yet sign on bonuses still exist and starting salaries of 130+ still exist. When people thought the sky was really falling in 2014, I got a call from a recruiter offering 30K sign on.
2c. What is your projected debt at graduation 2020?
2d. Do you have cash on hand to apply to/interview at AA school?

As someone who was concerned about saturation during my schooling, been in pharmacy for over 10 years, lived through recession I have a unique perspective on your case.
 
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... I'm embarrassed it didn't occur to me to post this as a response to you earlier, but based on how the future is looking, don't you think you should also start coming up with a plan B?
You don't even have a plan A. Work on getting an intern job now. I'm starting to think you've never worked a day in your life given what you've posted.
 
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I don't see how this is fundamentally different than mail order or retail delivery services. It's just a friendly drone instead of a friendly mailman or friendly delivery person. So what? It might eliminate delivery jobs but I don't see how it will affect pharmacist.

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This would only increase productivity for pharmacies.

Less patients in line waiting to pick up meds?
Yes please.
 
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You should believe NOTHING printed in this sorry excuse for a magazine. All you have to to is read this beauty which is surrounded by adds for the items mentioned in the "Article" What a joke.......
 
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You should believe NOTHING printed in this sorry excuse for a magazine. All you have to to is read this beauty which is surrounded by adds for the items mentioned in the "Article" What a joke.......

Response to OldTimer:
Exactly, and the biggest threat to mail order pharmacies are the companies that really do logistics for a living (Walmart, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal) getting into the mail order pharmacy business. If they do at the distribution points and volumes they manage, they could threaten even large mail order businesses. I'm deeply surprised that Walmart hasn't added a mail-order pharmacy division to their already excellent supply chain.


Nerd Answer:
From the logistics standpoint, drones represent an advance under very, very specific circumstances. The math way (topology) way to say it is:

Let D be a distribution point, and S1 to S9 be sites where goods need to be delivered. Assume only two way communication between any S and D (no two S's need to deliver to each other).

For the points where the distance from D to a specific S is greater than the average distance between any S site, you build a truck at D and drive to each S point and drop the goods off.

As the average distance between any two S sites increases to the point where the distance from D is equal to the average sites, consider subgroup those S sites for a route and maybe adding another D that is closer to a group of S's.

When the relationship inverts, build only a two-way supply method between the sites.
There's actually more complicated ways to solve this problem, but that's the general logistics point where mail order delivering from a central distribution warehouse to sites that are closer to each other (houses on a block) tend to use supply chains that cover everyone like the postal service. But for points where the distance between each S is large (like McKesson to your local retail pharmacy), you're probably going to start thinking of more specific routes or building more distribution warehouses. And when you really have distances to cover, like flyover territory, you build two way supply lines only.

That's why the early part of the 20th century through WWII, catalog shopping was a thing from the city supply route to the far frontier. We're living in a time where we bridge the distance to the distribution points with pharmacies everywhere. Drones only make logistic sense in Big Sky country or Alaska where the distribution problem of close supply sites is a real problem and the cost of creating a dedicated supply line is worth it.

You want to see bad examples of "drone" technology, look in a VA for those stupid delivery robots. Except for gigantic sites like Palo Alto and Houston, those robots are good news stories but having a Pyxis remote distribution machine on a floor does a lot more for your day than constant deliveries from your Central.

Drones are good press, but are prohibitively expensive (at this time) unless our road infrastructure deteriorates to the point that distance is less a factor than failure to deliver scenarios like Alaska or we collectively decide to abandon the cities for middle of nowhere Wyoming.
 
Response to OldTimer:
Exactly, and the biggest threat to mail order pharmacies are the companies that really do logistics for a living (Walmart, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal) getting into the mail order pharmacy business. If they do at the distribution points and volumes they manage, they could threaten even large mail order businesses. I'm deeply surprised that Walmart hasn't added a mail-order pharmacy division to their already excellent supply chain.


Nerd Answer:
From the logistics standpoint, drones represent an advance under very, very specific circumstances. The math way (topology) way to say it is:

Let D be a distribution point, and S1 to S9 be sites where goods need to be delivered. Assume only two way communication between any S and D (no two S's need to deliver to each other).

For the points where the distance from D to a specific S is greater than the average distance between any S site, you build a truck at D and drive to each S point and drop the goods off.

As the average distance between any two S sites increases to the point where the distance from D is equal to the average sites, consider subgroup those S sites for a route and maybe adding another D that is closer to a group of S's.

When the relationship inverts, build only a two-way supply method between the sites.
There's actually more complicated ways to solve this problem, but that's the general logistics point where mail order delivering from a central distribution warehouse to sites that are closer to each other (houses on a block) tend to use supply chains that cover everyone like the postal service. But for points where the distance between each S is large (like McKesson to your local retail pharmacy), you're probably going to start thinking of more specific routes or building more distribution warehouses. And when you really have distances to cover, like flyover territory, you build two way supply lines only.

That's why the early part of the 20th century through WWII, catalog shopping was a thing from the city supply route to the far frontier. We're living in a time where we bridge the distance to the distribution points with pharmacies everywhere. Drones only make logistic sense in Big Sky country or Alaska where the distribution problem of close supply sites is a real problem and the cost of creating a dedicated supply line is worth it.

You want to see bad examples of "drone" technology, look in a VA for those stupid delivery robots. Except for gigantic sites like Palo Alto and Houston, those robots are good news stories but having a Pyxis remote distribution machine on a floor does a lot more for your day than constant deliveries from your Central.

Drones are good press, but are prohibitively expensive (at this time) unless our road infrastructure deteriorates to the point that distance is less a factor than failure to deliver scenarios like Alaska or we collectively decide to abandon the cities for middle of nowhere Wyoming.

At least someone enjoyed Logistics in college
 
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