Another Distribution Giant Sees Future for Patient Informatics
September 8th, 2011
Posted by Caroline Popper, M.D., M.P.H.
Following McKesson’s bold move with the acquisition of US Oncology last December, another distribution giant has entered the arena of helping oncologists manage patient care. AmerisourceBergen Corporation recently announced its purchase of IntrinsiQ, LLC—a provider of informatics products directly involved in assisting oncologists with clinical dosing decisions.
We’re uncertain as to whether AmerisourceBergen’s expansion in this arena shows an aggressive push for new market traction, a creative way to garner physicians’ mindshare or whether they’re simply betting on the growing informatics market. It does, however, seem likely that a distributor would want to add value to its “middleman” role. And this signals one thing that is for sure: Distributors are getting closer to physicians on a core level—right down to how they prescribe vital medications.
Why is this happening? AmerisourceBergen stated its reasoning in a recent announcement on Drugs.com: “Oncologists need strategic partners that can capture actionable intelligence…” In short, physicians face an increasingly complex world of decisions every day, and information technology may be the only available edge when treatment options are many and time is critical.
We do wonder though…How does the oncologist find the right balance between her personal expertise, experience and judgment and the recommendation provided by the software? And with decision-making becoming so complex on the physician level, are these new technologies making a large enough impact? To what extent will IT/informatics become routine in assisting with treatment decisions?
Clearly these are important questions and this is a trend we are watching closely so that we can share with you its implications for the healthcare industry as well as on the practice of medicine. We would love to know your thoughts, as well. Please share them here.
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