So, some people I have talked to worry about robots and computers taking over pharmacy practice. I think they may in some circumstances.

A robot can fill faster than I can. A robot can count more accurately than I can. A computer can remember more drug interactions than I can. And do you really need a $100k/year pharmacist to do a basic final check on the prescriptions. I think a trained $14/hour technician could do quite well.

So what is the answer?!

I think this is a golden opportunity to start learning how to market MTM type skills and more ambulatory care pharmacist functions. Instead of using automation to increase to an increasingly larger maximal prescription volume, we should use that increase in efficiency to make time for clinical services in the outpatient setting.

So how will automation affect pharmacy?

Will it be its death knell or a stimulus to a greater role in our patients’ care?

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