How a 30-Year-Old Prescription Management Platform Is Creating the Pharmacy of the Future

When the person at the counter asks, “Do you have any questions for the pharmacist?” it’s hard for the consumer to respond. After all, there are probably several anxious people waiting in line. And it may be that they will have questions later, after they’ve digested the side effects, interaction warnings and other information stapled to their prescription. It’s a situation read perfectly by the U.K.s leading trade journal for pharmacists who recently proclaimed, “Pharmacists are the new doctors.”

In an effort to increase the ability for consumers to engage with the reality of the pharmacy as healthcare hub, MedAdvisor Solutions, a digital pharmacy solution provider, is aiming to complete the digital transformation of the pharmacy. MedAdvisor Solutions is working to improve patient outcomes and streamline the pharmacy experience through two-way technology and data-driven solutions.

Rick Ratliff, CEO of MedAdvisor Solutions, told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster that he envisions a future where pharmacies seamlessly blend brick-and-mortar and online services.

“Our focus at this point in time is helping to empower, as we call it, the pharmacy of the future,” Ratliff said. “Pharmacy is changing, and in the future, it’s likely a combination of brick-and-mortar, online, and the ability to come into the pharmacy and engage with the pharmacist — something you can’t get through a pure online environment.”

As pharmacies become more integral to the healthcare system, MedAdvisor Solutions recognizes the importance of leveraging technology to enhance patient engagement and medication adherence. Ratliff pointed out that patients interact with pharmacies eight to 10 times more frequently per year than they do with their primary care physicians, making pharmacies a crucial touchpoint for patient care.

“They’re our trusted advisers,” he said. He believes this increased interaction presents an opportunity for pharmacies to play a more active role in managing patient health and improving outcomes.


Opportunity Rx

To capitalize on this opportunity, MedAdvisor Solutions has developed an omnichannel engagement platform that integrates with pharmacy systems. This platform allows pharmacies to communicate with patients through various channels, including direct mail, text messages, and pharmacy apps. By providing targeted, personalized information about medications, side effects, and adherence, Ratliff believes MedAdvisor Solutions helps pharmacies build stronger relationships with their patients and improve overall health outcomes.

One of the key challenges in healthcare is medication adherence. As Ratliff explained, “About 18-20% of individuals that are new to [certain] prescriptions don’t even fill it to begin with. And then those that do fill the medication, about 20-25% of those individuals fall off after the first or second prescription.” Poor adherence can lead to worsening health conditions, increased healthcare costs, and preventable hospitalizations.

To address this issue, MedAdvisor Solutions has developed a machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) platform called THRiV, which helps identify patients at risk of non-adherence and optimizes communication strategies to encourage better medication management.

THRiV analyzes prescription data from over 30,000 pharmacies in the U.S., representing about two-thirds of the U.S. population. By leveraging this data, MedAdvisor Solutions can help pharmacies and pharmaceutical manufacturers target the right individuals with the right message at the right time.

Ratliff noted that this targeted approach has led to a 15% to 20% increase in first-fill rates for certain medications. “We did a program for a brand manufacturer that takes to market an injectable product for lowering your cholesterol,” he explained. “We saw, if I recall right, around a 15-20% increase in the first-fill rate as a result of just getting the right communication at the right time to the individual.”


MedAdvisor Solutions’ digital-first approach aims to reduce the complexities of managing medicine for both pharmacies and patients. The company’s medication management app keeps users connected to their local pharmacies, allowing them to upload eScripts, preorder medication, and have it ready for pickup or delivery. Throughout the process, manufacturer-approved content and information is provided to keep patients informed and safe.

Earlier this month, the company launched its Omnichannel Engagement for Pharmacy, powered by THRiV. This advanced technology personalizes patient outreach and alerts, allowing patients to ask questions and receive FDA-compliant answers about their medications in real-time through interactions with an online avatar, reducing the need for “Dr. Google.”

THRiV helps optimize the frequency and targeting of communications, and as Ratliff said it helps ensure that manufacturers and pharmacies are not overspending on their outreach efforts. MedAdvisor Solutions’ primary customers are pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a revenue-sharing model in place. The company also facilitates vaccine administration. Success is measured through prescriptions ordered, filled and used, as well as click-through rates on outreach and digital interactions.

“We do a return-on-investment analysis on every program that we run,” Ratliff said, adding that telehealth may become part of their strategy in the future.

While technology is central to MedAdvisor Solutions’ mission, Ratliff emphasizes the importance of maintaining a human touch. “Telehealth is just going to be a part of the overall experience,” he said. “Some pharmacies are actually starting to tie in telehealth with their local community doctors. So, if you do need to see a doctor and you’re with a pharmacist, and there’s not a clinic in the pharmacy, you could connect to the doctor through telehealth.”

Ratliff said this hybrid approach, combining the convenience of digital solutions with the expertise and personal connection of healthcare professionals, is key to MedAdvisor Solutions’ vision for the future of pharmacy. By leveraging technology to streamline processes and enhance patient engagement, while still maintaining the critical human element of care, he said the company can help create a more efficient, effective and patient-centric pharmacy experience.

As MedAdvisor Solutions continues to innovate and expand its offerings, the company remains focused on its core mission: improving patient outcomes through digital transformation. “There’s no question that there are lots of opportunities for technology to improve the overall experience at the pharmacy and manage their medications more effectively,” Ratliff told Webster. “That’s going to have positive effects on the cost of health care and patient outcomes.”