Get ready for a new era of consumerism in health care.
Barrett tells Fortune’s Susie Gharib the consumer is going to be at the center of the American health care system, making it more competitive: “I do think that we’re going to see a more active consumer. I think transparency is likely to increase and I do think that the system is becoming more patient-centered, and I think that’s a good thing.”
That could also mean more cases of consumers speaking up about high prices. Remember the uproar over Mylan Pharmaceuticals overcharging consumers for its life-saving EpiPen drug used by allergy sufferers? Consumer protests like that in a new activist era could impact Cardinal Health, which gets a big chunk of its $100 billion in annual revenues from distributing pharmaceuticals.
But Barrett sees things differently. “Every business should be concerned about anger of the population in the U.S.,” he says. “For us as a health care company, I am happy with an active, knowledgeable consumer. I think that is actually good for our business. So that does not concern me. But in the big sense, the breakdown in trust in an angry America I think does concern me, and I think we’ve got a lot to think about as a country.”