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Rx Industry Chief Sees Internet 'Dramatically' Changing Business

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Rx Industry Chief Sees Internet 'Dramatically' Changing Business

Article excerpt

The Internet will transform the drug supply chain, formulary management, and the pharmaceutical industry's customer focus, according to SmithKline Beecham CEO, Jan Leschly. Speaking at a health forum sponsored by the Wall Street Journal last month, Leschly said that mail-order pharmacy already had changed the traditional manufacturer-to-wholesaler-to-pharmacy product route.

"Mail order has become very, very influential, specifically ... for chronic diseases," he said. "And the Internet, electronic commerce, is going to change all of this dramatically." Internet pharmacies "are really the big intermediaries that are going to interfere with the wholesaler and the pharmacist" over the $120 billion market for Rxs, OTCs, and wellness items, he added.

SB sold its PBM/mail-order subsidiary DPS in February to Express Scripts, which later announced it would launch an on-line drugstore, YourPharmacy.com. Noting that New York recently authorized the e-mailing of Rxs, Leschly forecast that other states would follow. "Within three to five years, I'll bet consultations will take place on the Net, payments will take place on the Net electronically, electronic signatures will be on the Net . …

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