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With a Federal election on the horizon, the Liberals and NDP governments have both indicated pharmacare will form part of election platforms.
The challenge with any pharmacare program is Canadians don’t always take the drugs they are prescribed, and medication non-adherence significantly contributes to keeping healthcare costs (public and sponsored plans) artificially high.
Medication non-adherence accounts for 5 per cent of Canadian hospital admissions, 5 per cent of physician visits and costs our healthcare system $4 billion annually. Furthermore, workplace sponsors lose millions of dollars in benefits costs, lost earnings, avoidable medical costs, and lost productivity. (Source: Medavie Blue Cross on August 27, 2020).
The pandemic has brought many digital trends forward. Pharmacare would benefit from a digital infrastructure in healthcare to help improve medication adherence.
More medication non-adherence data points:
- 20% to 30% of medication prescriptions are never filled (Medavie Blue Cross on August 27, 2020)
- 50% of Canadians with chronic illness do not take medications as prescribed (Canadian Institute for Health Information, Drug Use Among Seniors 2016)
- The biggest reason cited for non-adherence amongst plan members was forgetfulness (41%), followed by the perception that they don’t need the medication because they feel fine (24%) or they ran out (20%) (2020 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey)
- Convenience may be a factor: 69% of plan members regularly taking at least one medication agree that it is inconvenient to go to their physician to get their prescriptions renewed. 2020 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey
Karim Nassar, CEO, Mednow, a computer engineer with 15 years of experience in pharmacy, technology, and healthcare logistics can speak to:
- Why digital solutions and e-health records are paramount – creates an interdisciplinary system where doctors, physicians and pharmacists can collaborate to provide the best care + pharmacists can act as medication dispensing gatekeepers.
- Mednow’s adherence solutions put medications in easy-to-use pouches marked by date and time and taken manually or with medication dispensing robot known as Karie.
- The role of automation in scheduling, reminding and delivering medication.
- How technology in pharmacy is underutilized and why that needs to change + what government can do to support it
Mednow is a healthcare technology company offering virtual access with exceptional care. Pharmacy services include free at-home delivery of medications (same day or next day), a user-friendly interface for easy upload, transfer and refill of prescriptions, access to healthcare professionals through an intuitive chat experience, a specialized PillSmart™ system that packages prescriptions and vitamins by date and time, as well as access to telemedicine virtual care.