Vertical Integration: What’s your opinion?

Vertical integration is a business model that is becoming more and more frequent.  There is currently nothing that can be done to stop it, since companies routinely merge to remain competitive in the current market.  Even if the end result is a much larger company, there is still nothing that can be done to stop it.  We just have to accept it.

I would like to share a little light on what is perhaps meant by “Vertical Integration” in healthcare.  The APhA Policy Committee will take a look at how the merger of different segments of the healthcare system might lead to either improved opportunities for, or decreased access to, pharmacist-provided patient care services.

One recent very public example of vertical integration is the CVS Health proposed purchase of Aetna.  Amazon’s recent announcement of the purchase of PillPack, and recent decision to open a clinic in Seattle, while a little less “vertical” is another example.

So here is what the APhA Policy Committee needs to hear from pharmacists about:

(1)   What are your concerns, questions, etc. about these sorts of buyouts which integrate one component of the healthcare system with another component (e.g., community pharmacy with insurers: or employer purchasers with heath-systems and pharmacies, etc.);

(2)   What should APhA’s position be on these sorts of private industry activities and why;

(3)   How will these sorts of corporate activities impact patient care, both positively and negatively; and

(4)   How will these situations impact the pharmacy profession overall?

Source:  Michael Hogue, PharmD, Speaker, APhA House of Delegates