NEW YORK There are a couple of items of note with Ross’ announcement. First is the value of the pharmacist. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll released last week found that almost half of Americans are putting off healthcare costs, with 33% of Americans reporting that they’re replacing a possible doctor’s office visit with a trip to the pharmacy to purchase an over-the-counter solution. A higher incidence of OTC use combined with a lower incidence of consultation with a family practitioner could result in some pretty serious adverse events without the intervention of a MTM-minded pharmacist. To be sure, OTC medicines are proving to be very valuable to consumers during these recessionary times, but the fact is that nonprescription medicines are still medicines, and it’s not only important to use as directed, but also to speak with a pharmacist around a patient’s entire drug/supplement regimen.
Second, it further substantiates several trends — a trend toward utilizing Internet technology to help manage healthcare conditions; a marriage of sorts between that Internet interoperability and smart phones; and the desire to have a privacy-protected online home around those healthcare conditions.
TheCarrot.com site provides tools for tracking a variety of topics including health, nutrition, fitness, and medicines all within a layman-friendly calendar format. Through the free, anonymous service, consumers can achieve a more comprehensive view of their health conditions. TheCarrot.com also allows users to employ a cell phone or iPhone to upload healthcare datapoints.