A new brief explores market-driven digital innovations for private pharmacies and drug shops

A new brief, Market-Driven Digital Innovations for Private Pharmacies and Drug Shops, describes the importance of digital tools for improving the efficiency, profitability, reliability, and quality of care in pharmacies and drug shops. The brief provides examples and links for currently available open-source tools for pharmacy and drug shop owners' information and offers recommendations to implementers and donors for supporting their adoption.

Digital solutions in pharmacies and drug shops can improve their participation in the health market by surfacing data to improve efficiencies, business performance and inform investments for better patient outcomes." - Mbogo Bunyi, Senior Private Sector Advisor, SHOPS

Two female Pharmacists in a storeroom

Private pharmacies and drug shops are essential sources of health information, products, and services and are often the first point of contact for health care. Leveraging technological innovations in pharmacies and drug shops can create operational efficiencies, improve the quality and quantity of products and services offered, and generate more revenue for these frontline providers of health care. Market-based digital solutions that use business models and market forces to incentivize supportive technologies at private health outlets are a promising and sustainable approach to encouraging digital transformation in the private sector.

Pharmacy structureOrganized around the key functions of pharmacies and drugs shops, this brief provides examples of market-driven digital innovations that support one or more operational functions of private pharmacies and drug shops, highlighting gaps and opportunities for further digital innovation.

As technology evolves and proliferates, more opportunities will be available to extend supportive digital tools to frontline private health outlets, like pharmacies and drug shops that often serve the most vulnerable and marginalized populations. A wide variety of digital solutions is available across markets in LMIC, with varying levels of uptake in each country. This brief provides a framework for understanding opportunities to leverage market-driven digital technologies to support and improve the operational functions of private pharmacies and drug shops. There is a need for additional investments in both the digital tools and the intended users of these tools. Existing tools need to adapt in response to user feedback and evolving requirements. Digital innovators need guidance to help them recognize the important market potential of small pharmacies and drug shops. Working together, public and private stakeholders can accelerate a digital transformation among private pharmacies and drug shops that will ultimately improve their ability to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from the public health system.

Read the brief here

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Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus is a five-year cooperative agreement (AID-OAA-A-15-00067) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This website is made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID. The information provided on this website is not official U.S. government information and does not represent the views or positions of USAID or the U.S. government.

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