McKesson’s Rexall takeover: a catalyst for Canadian healthcare reform?

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McKesson’s Rexall takeover: a catalyst for Canadian healthcare reform?

According to industry experts, McKesson’s reported acquisition of Rexall may have great implications in Canadian healthcare reform.

“The healthcare system is shifting from institutional care to primary, community-based care, which involves a combination of in-community facilities and at-home services,” says Jim Danahy, managing principal and CEO of consultancy firm CustomerLAB. “We are shifting out emphasis from the hospital.”

Danahy suggests that the “space race” that this deal has struck between the possible McKesson-Rexall partnership and the Loblaws-Shoppers Drug Mart camp will be instrumental in the incitement of this change—the “healthy competition” generated between the two parties will help to speed up the switch to primary care.

“Having two large companies in a race to ‘do it better’ will be able to do what a fragmented industry wasn’t able to do previously,” he notes.

The key problem that the move toward primary care will address, explains Danahy, is medication non-adherence. “This issue kills thousands of people per year and causes untold suffering while also creating a burden on the healthcare system,” he says. “It can be resolved simply by helping patients to take the medication that has already been prescribed to them.”

“There are few times that patient care needs and the biggest business opportunities are perfectly aligned,” concludes Danahy. “But this is one of them.”

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