The Impact of Information Technology on the Retail Pharmacy Industry

Date of Graduation

Spring 1998


Master of Science in Computer Information Systems


Information Technology and Cybersecurity

Committee Chair

Vikram Sethi


The past decade has produced significant changes in the way health care is practiced in America. Much of this change, particularly within the retail pharmacy industry, results from the extensive utilization of information technology (IT). IT is increasingly playing a critical role in the health care delivery system and is effectively redefining the nature and structure of the industry. This thesis is concerned specifically with the impact of IT upon retail pharmacy both as a force for organizational change and as a basis for the vertical integration of distribution channels through the development of interorganizational claims processing systems. This impact is explored by examining IT utilization and its perceived effects at the retail pharmacy level and through an examination of the information management systems employed by third-party claims processors. Overall, I found that IT has had little effect upon the organizational structure of retail pharmacy. In addidtion, the true impact of IT upon the industry is a result of the extent of control exerted over the value chain activities by claims processors through the aggressive use of IT for the purpose of information management.

Subject Categories

Management Information Systems


© Gerald D Russell