Today, TELUS Health launched its digital Virtual Pharmacy service to help improve medication adherence by offering Canadians the opportunity to set up automatic refill reminders for prescription medications that are shipped directly to their doorstep. Importantly, the service allows users to have unlimited one-on-one video and phone consultations with pharmacists from the comfort of their home, while also providing them with tools to keep track of their family’s medications through the service’s online dashboard.
“As people’s lives continue to get busier, we need to focus on providing simple and convenient solutions that allow people to better manage their health and the health of their families. Not following medication instructions can negatively affect a patient’s health and costs our health care systems billions of dollars in unnecessary acute care interventions,” said Sonya Lockyer, vice president, Pharmacy at TELUS Health. “Our new virtual pharmacy service is designed to make medication compliance easier, especially for those with chronic or acute conditions who need to manage multiple medications.”
New research suggests that patients who don’t take their medications as directed – called medication non-adherence – is a growing issue in Canada. A survey conducted by Leger for TELUS Health found:
- One-third of Canadians missed picking up their prescription medications on time in the past year with the majority citing their busy lifestyle as the reason;
- Among these respondents, all of whom have their medications partially or fully covered by a benefits plan, nearly 60 per cent said it was because it slipped their mind and almost 50 per cent said it was due to work and family commitments.
TELUS Health’s Virtual Pharmacy allows users to conveniently book appointments for pharmacy services including video or phone consultations with a licensed pharmacist. The service empowers users to better manage a key aspect of their health through a combination of proven technology and personal service from caring and knowledgeable pharmacists. Virtual Pharmacy can save Canadians time while reducing the stress that may come with trying to get to a pharmacy on time to pick up a regular medication, and seeking pharmacy counsel in a crowded store, particularly as many continue to navigate COVID-19 requirements. It is also an ideal digital tool for caregivers who manage medications for others.
“As we shift to a more digitally-enabled world and more virtual health services become available, we must continue to emphasize the importance of care, compassion, and expertise, providing a more personalized experience that Canadians need and expect when managing their health,” said Jason Kennedy, RPh, general manager, Virtual Pharmacy at TELUS Health. “As a pharmacist myself, I understand the importance of being able to speak with an expert when it comes to your health, whether to ask questions about medications or other matters. As the role of the pharmacist evolves in Canada, so too must the tools used to access health services.”
TELUS Health Virtual Pharmacy is available in English in all provinces, excluding Quebec, through a free mobile app for both iOS and Android devices; the French version of the service will be available in the coming months. Canadian employers can also add Virtual Pharmacy to their workplace health benefits programs providing employees with convenient options to more easily access prescription medications while also supporting improved adherence which has been reported to help reduce absenteeism. For more information, please visit: www.teluspharmacy.com
Employers can learn more about adding Virtual Pharmacy to their workplace benefits plan here.