While it may seem obvious, if you do not take your medication as directed, it will be ineffective. Unfortunately, numerous studies reveal that one in ten Canadian people never even fill their initial prescription! Additionally, 44% of adults 20+ have at least 1 of 10 common chronic conditions yet only 1 in 10 manage to adhere to their prescription.
125,000 deaths are caused by non medication adherence and in Canada a minimum of 5% of all hospitalizations each year are caused by individuals not following their prescription directions—causing an immense financial burden on our healthcare system $4 billion annually.
Sanofi Survey outlines key findings on medication management.
The 2020 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey sheds light on what is an increasing concern for plan sponsors. Here are some of the survey’s key findings on medication management:
55% of Canadian plan members take at least one medication on a regular basis; this increases to 70% among those with a chronic condition and/or chronic pain and 87% among those in poor health
Employers with 500 or more employees are more concerned (59%) by this issue, as are employers in Quebec (60%)
43% of plan members who take at least one medication admitted they sometimes don’t take their medication, increasing to 61% among those aged 18 to 34
The biggest reason cited for non-adherence was forgetfulness (41%), followed by the perception that they don’t need the medication because they feel fine (24%) or they ran out (20%)
52% of plan members who don’t always take their medication indicated this happens at least a quarter of the time
54% of plan sponsors are concerned that the overall cost of their drug plan is negatively impacted by plan members who aren’t taking their medications properly
So, what can you do to foster compliance among employees and their families? Although there is not a single, universal solution, convenience and efficiency continue to be the main priorities.
Add free home delivery of prescriptions to your pharmacy benefits mix.
Home delivery is an excellent option for any employees with chronic medication needs or their family members. Once registered, with a service such as TELUS Health Virtual Pharmacy participants will receive a full three-month supply at the comfort of their home (or place of their choosing) - no more stressful trips to the pharmacy! Moreover, Virtual Pharmacy offers additional advantages you won't find elsewhere.
Better prescription adherence with 90-day refills and or compliance packaging.
Canadian employers reap a multitude of benefits from 90-day prescription fills. Not only does this provide cost savings for their healthcare plans, but it also bolsters employee well-being and productivity. Studies conducted by the American Journal of Managed Care demonstrated that automatic 90-day supplies are far more efficient than 30 day supplies in terms of medication compliance and waste avoidance.
Convenient access to care to maintenance medications.
Your employees will save precious time by skipping out on long queues at their local pharmacy with virtual pharmacy prescription refills. They can easily set up medication reminders for automatic shipments of the medications they need delivered directly to them, or opt for a pick-up service right from their favourite pharmacy.
Virtual pharmacy vs. online pharmacy.
It can be difficult to differentiate between a virtual pharmacy and online pharmacies as they both provide medications through the mail. However; a Virtual pharmacy operates just like any other traditional pharmacy; the pharmacist practices exactly the same activities, supervises technicians, verifies prescriptions, and advises patients virtually or by phone. On the contrary, online pharmacies act more akin to an internet retailer and typically deal with lifestyle medications and require you to complete an online questionnaire complete with medical history & symptoms, so you don’t have to connect with them in person and does not require you to have an already valid prescription from a licensed healthcare provider.
Deliver time savings and greater satisfaction to your employees.
With the right pharmacy benefit plan, your employees can enjoy three refills in one supply delivered directly to them. Even if there's no incentive from the benefits package, they'll likely pay less when filling out a 90-day prescription. Moreover, this method could save your organisation money in addition to providing cost savings to your staff members.
Role of plan sponsors.
Plan sponsors can make an important difference in addressing this issue by educating and encouraging members to members stay on-track of their medications. Communications with members can help them:
Adopt healthy drug adherence habits, such as using an app like TELUS Health Virtual Pharmacy to incorporate into their daily routines
Set up a schedule for the frequency and time of the day they take their medications, or use medication adherence packaging such as MedPack by TELUS Health
Provide them with access to a pharmacist to learn important details about their medications by reviewing their prescriptions with a pharmacist.