As we move into the next century, the pace of the health care business will increase. Only organizations that can anticipate and execute their strategies accordingly will survive. We can foresee some of these changes already: the growing power of consumers to manage their own care; the role of the Internet in changing communication channels; the financial success of lifestyle drugs in the marketplace; the use of smart agents to optimize the selection, purchase, and delivery of personalized health care; and the challenges of maintaining an affordable "quality of life" for the citizens of the world.

Consumers are playing a stronger role in the health care business, shifting decision-making power toward their own goals and away from the physician and payer. These activist consumers are typically of the post-World War II baby boomer generation--also known as the Me Generation--and make health care decisions for themselves, their children, and their aging...

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