Doug Long on the Impact of Telehealth on Specialty Pharmacy

The pandemic drove telehealth usage, but it has challenges that might prevent doctors from prescribing new therapies, said Doug Long, MBA, vice president, industry relations, IQVIA.

The pandemic drove telehealth usage, but it has challenges that might prevent doctors from prescribing new therapies, said Doug Long, MBA, vice president, industry relations, IQVIA.

Transcript

What impact did the pandemic and the shift to telehealth have on the growth of the specialty pharmacy market?

Well, first of all, COVID[-19] created telehealth. It barely existed prior to [COVID-19], and in the early stages of COVID-19, telehealth reached 15% of the medical claims. Now, it's down to 4%. So, it's seeking its level right now.

The handicap on telehealth is they don't have access to the labs and the vitals and things that make doctors comfortable with prescribing new therapies. So, that's the challenge that telehealth is going to have.

Saying that, it really depends on what specialty you're talking about—how relevant telehealth is—because particularly in mental health now, it's a huge thing in mental health.