Viewpoint: Big pharma should drop battles with Amazon, CVS, Walgreens

Big pharma and the even bigger retail giants — Amazon, CVS and Walgreens — seem to be moving toward a battle over healthcare and the consumer. However, each industry should focus instead on what it does best, writes John Nosta, founder of digital health think tank Nostalab, in an op-ed published in Forbes.

Today, there is a new healthcare dynamic emerging. Much of it surrounds the love affair with the customer, retail medicine and redefining the healthcare experience to be convenient.

Amazon, CVS and Walgreens have long been standout players in the consumer-centric game, writes Mr. Nosta. They are experts at the retail dynamic of understanding the customer, which makes them a threat to the healthcare world. Amazon itself redefined e-commerce by understanding the needs and wants of a consumer, and it's moving deeper into healthcare.

However, there's another player in this complex healthcare arena looking to focus on the consumer-first strategy. That player is big pharma. Many pharmaceutical companies have been quick to adopt the patient-first taglines and marketing strategies. However, instead of hyper-focusing on consumer-centricity, pharma should focus on the central role science plays in its business model.

"This illogical fusion of consumer-centricity and the high science of drug discovery may be best served (and the end consumer too) by recognizing who does what best — and leaving it that way," Mr. Nosta writes.

Pharma should consider the patient to redefine itself, but it needs to "cast aside that desire for retail medicine" since the battle over healthcare and the consumer wouldn't be productive, Mr. Nosta writes.

Read the full op-ed here.

More articles on pharmacy:
Rite Aid shakes up board after 2 failed mergers
Why patients may face longer waits for generics under North American trade proposal
Reversing course: GlaxoSmithKline will resume paying physicians who promote its drugs

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