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How pharmacists and pharmacy organisations can rise to the challenge of new technologies is set out in a new position statement released by FIP today. The statement highlights technological advances, some considered disruptive, that are affecting the pharmacy profession, including: successfully providing remote services during the COVID-19 pandemic; 24/7 online access to pharmacists; harvesting of patient health and online purchasing data by profit-seeking entities; the use of artificial intelligence; and the use of marketing tools to encourage patients to buy medical products they may not need and which may be detrimental.
The statement insists that, to protect patients, pharmacists must be involved in the development of digital health technologies. “Any new disruptive technology or business model must not dilute the inherent protections that are in place for consumers and civil society under the conventional pharmacy model. They must allow for the continued pharmacist-based professional stewardship of medicines,” it adds.
Lars-Åke Söderlund, president, FIP Community Pharmacy Section, said: “Understanding the changing healthcare landscape and patient evolving needs and expectations will be crucial for the profession of pharmacy as we develop new services, incorporate new evidence-based digital tools, and advance our possibilities in the scope of patient-centered care. It is time to evaluate the services that pharmacists are providing through digital health tools that enhance pharmacy services by improving access for patients who choose to receive care digitally. After all, digital health in the end is about health – digitally enabled”.
Read the full statement here.