Distribution Channels of Pharmaceutical Information Are Changing

Account Manager of the Pharmaceutical Information Centre in Finland and Head Dispenser Ville Valkonen spoke about the current distribution channels of pharmaceutical information during NewIcon’s customer days in January.

Digitization is a major trend also in the pharmaceutical industry. An increasing amount of pharmaceutical information will be distributed electronically and via mobile devices so that it is personalized for different user groups and with great focus on visual appearance. The role of printed books will diminish as smart devices and videos replace them.

How has pharmaceutical information changed in recent years and where are we headed?

Technology is developing at high speed, which is evident in the utilization of information. We are heavily influencing the digitization of health care. Just 10 years ago, book sales were high, but now users prefer electronic services, and mobile services in particular. It is no longer enough that information is available in one long continuous form, as in books, but users must be able to divide up information and display the key points even on a small screen. In addition to structured pharmaceutical information in a textual form, we currently offer e.g. a comprehensive image database of medicines. The next step will include user instruction videos. Despite the transformation of its form and uses, information still maintains its reliability and timeliness.

Serialization, pharmacogenomics, smartglasses, and smartphones are major trends in the pharmaceutical industry. Why are they significant and how should pharmacies prepare for them?

With the Falsified Medicines Directive, serialization, or the unique identification of medicine packages, is becoming mandatory. This means that barcode scanners must be replaced to recognize 2D codes. New devices require a financial investment but also provide additional benefits as more information, such as shelf life and instructions, may be embedded in the code on the package.

Smart devices are already part of everyday life and are used more frequently for various different purposes. Pharmacies also certainly have applications where smart devices could be utilized more efficiently. Smartglasses enriched with pharmaceutical information in customer services enable smooth, effortless information retrieval during a customer situation between the shelves of over-the-counter medicines.

As pharmacogenomic information increases and genetic tests become more routine, it is entirely possible that patient medication will be assessed more specifically in terms of genotype. Pharmacogenomic information enables rational medication as the suitability of various alternative medicines for a particular patient can be planned and monitored more efficiently in terms of, for instance, effectiveness and adverse effects.

More information

Pharmaceutical Information Centre Ltd (Lääketietokeskus Oy) is a modern drug information and skills development company. The centre's best-known services and products are Pharmaca Fennica ®, Kodin Lääkeopas™, Lääkekortti.fi, Lääkeinfo.fi and pharmaceutical seminars.


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