The Covid-19 pandemic has been a boon for disruption in the global pharmacy market. The online pharmacy industry is expected to generate revenues worth almost 200 billion dollars by 2026 according to research by the global pharmacy industry. This is a steady increase from 68 Billion USD in 2020. It’s no wonder pharma giants like Walgreen, CVS, Walmart and Kroger have all launched US virtual pharmacies.
As global demand for virtual services shift while people continue to navigate COVID-19 requirements Canada has extended the business of making prescriptions and consultations easier. TELUS has announced the launch of their own Virtual Pharmacy. While many people think of TELUS as one of Canada’s largest telecoms, the company has spent over a decade honing its expertise in the digital health space.
CANADIANS TURNING TO THE CONVENIENCE OF ONLINE SERVICES
Many Canadians simply don’t want to pick up a regular medication or seek pharmacy advice in a crowded store while COVID-19 still spreads quickly through the country.
The company says it will to be able to give Canadians the opportunity to set up automatic refill reminders for prescription medications that are shipped directly to their doorstep as well as have unlimited one-on-one video and phone consultations with pharmacists from the comfort of their home.
The platform will also give customers and caregivers the ability to keep track of their family’s medications through an online dashboard.
Sonya Lockyer is the Vice President of Pharmacy at TELUS Health and says, “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.”
RESEARCH INDICATES MANY CANADIANS LIFESTYLES LEAD TO MISSED PRESCRIPTIONS
New research suggests that patients who don’t take their medications as directed is a growing issue in Canada. A survey conducted by Leger found that one in three Canadians missed picking up their prescription medications on time in the past year. Among those respondents nearly 60 per cent said it was because it slipped their mind while almost 50 per cent said it was due to work and family commitments.
Quite simply the majority of people needing a virtual pharmacy cite their busy lifestyle as the top reason.
TELUS Health’s Virtual Pharmacy allows users to book appointments for pharmacy services including video or phone consultations with a licensed pharmacist. It is also provides a digital tool for caregivers who manage medications for others.
“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.”, says Virtual Pharmacy general manager Jason Kennedy.
Right now the TELUS Health Virtual Pharmacy is available in English in all provinces, excluding Quebec. Users can download a mobile app to their Android or iOS device. The French version of the service will be available in the coming months.