Advancing The Profession of Pharmacy

COVID Disruption a Catalyst for Change in Healthcare

by | Nov 24, 2020 | Consulting Pharmacist Education, Industry Tips

Tonight, I’ll be part of a panel of pharmacists from different industry settings discussing the disruption of Amazon on the traditional community pharmacy model.

As I was preparing for tonight’s event, I reflected on some predictions I made about the next decade for our profession.

In September 2019, I made three predictions about what disruption in the industry could look like:

  1. The dispensing process will become more centralized and automated
  2. Pharmacy will dominate the preventative services niche
  3. Embedded consultant pharmacists in physician’s offices will focus on quality control

You can watch the full replay of that lecture here.


Three predictions from 2019

This year, I expect, those predictions hit a little differently than they did last year!

Instead of sounding like a distant future, this year, with every human on the planet at war with a dangerous, novel RNA virus, those predictions feel more like the present reality.

Last year, while I was speculating about remote pharmacist-led clinical services centered around prevention, there was a sinister virus biding its time ready to terrorize the human race.

I’m not cynical; this Thanksgiving, as we are self-quarantined, away from elderly and potentially exposed family members, there is much to be sad about.

However, because disruption (whether the cause is Amazon or COVID) can bring about much needed changes, there is much to be hopeful for as well.

Even, dare I say GRATEFUL for.

  • Disruption = Change
  • Change = Opportunity
  • Opportunity is both PRICELESS & FLEETING

Much like the APNs who stepped in during the healthcare provider shortage and carved out a new practice model for themselves, pharmacy can reinvent itself…but we are in danger of being left out again unless we act quickly.


We must shift our practice model away from dispensing only.

We must use our pharmacology and physiology knowledge in new ways.

We must not allow ourselves to be replaceable.

“Being a Consultant Pharmacist means to build your practice model around a SERVICE, not a PRODUCT.”

A special shout out to Pharmapreneur Academy™ member Shauna, who recently posted in the forums:

“I got my first “yes” when I called a physician, and he informed me that he is swamped with ACO paperwork and believed that he could get much more MIPS reimbursements if he had extra help with CCM, AWV, DM, and ACO paperwork. I heard his pain points and offered my services!”

Don’t let another year pass you by, let’s work together to carve out a place for Pharmacy in 2021 and beyond.

About the Author

Blair Thielemier, PharmD, is a business development consultant specializing in pharmacist-led billing models. She has set the industry standard for virtual pharmacy conferences with the Elevate Pharmacy Virtual Summit in 2017. She has consulted with national pharmacy organizations, drug wholesalers, point of sale companies, and Fortune 5 health insurers. She has books and online courses available for individuals looking to leverage their pharmacy knowledge into monetized clinical programs at She speaks internationally about trends in leveraging pharmacists to improve value-based care.


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