United Parcel Service Inc. is reportedly eyeing a deeper foray into the healthcare business.
UPS is preparing to test a service in the U.S. later this year that would send nurses to vaccinate adults in their homes, Reuters reported on Thursday. While UPS didn’t say which vaccine it would be using in the project, the news organization confirmed with pharma giant Merck that it is looking at participating in the initiative.
UPS did not immediately respond to request for comment.
As Reuters reported, workers would package and ship the vaccine to franchised UPS stores. Then a home health nurse contracted by UPS’ clinical trial logistics company Marken would collect the package, transport it to the individual patient and administer the vaccine.
Marken already has a home healthcare offering in which it sends professionals to the home for study drug administration, blood draws, EKGs, clinical assessments of vital signs and patient and caregiver training. It also provides direct to and from patient services for clinical trials. But the reported move by the world’s largest package delivery company would potentially expand that work into a much larger market.
It would also be an apparent move to fend off competitors like Amazon, which has sought to build its own delivery model, has entered the drug distribution market with the acquisition of PillPack last year and is also in the midst of building healthcare partnership Haven with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan.
It would embrace a segment of the population that’s far easier to deal with than established organizations like health systems. Last year, CNBC reported that Amazon decided to scrap plans to sell drugs to hospitals. Experts said the move was at least in part because hospitals are very set in their ways when it comes to supply chain management.
Merck has a number of vaccines on the market for adults, including those to protect against shingles, hepatitis B and pneumococcal bacteria.
While vaccines are often pointed to as a crucial cost cutter in healthcare by helping prevent the costs associated with disease, the question remains: Would insurers be willing to pay for such a service?
Could this be the way MANDATORY vaccinations will be done in the all too near future? Perhaps under the threat of imprisonment if you refuse? After all, Merk, has a long history of engaging in nefarious behavior, including bribing doctors, price fixing its drugs and pressuring state and federal lawmakers to enshrine its unethical profit model into law. Reuters explains why Merck is the perfect partner for UPS, since they both care so much about money.
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