News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

App-based delivery service to help Australia’s most vulnerable access medication while in self-isolation

Health Industry Hub | April 8, 2020 |
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Pharma News: MedAdvisor, the technology partner used by 60% of Australia’s pharmacies, has launched its “Uber” for pharmacy delivery services in Brisbane to help deliver much-needed medications to patients during the COVID-19 crisis.

From today, phase 2 of the delivery service will enable pharmacies to offer same-day delivery by leveraging MedAdvisor’s third party delivery provider, Kings Transport, to fulfil delivery requests.

MedAdvisor’s CEO, Robert Read said “Fast-tracking the launch of MedAdvisor’s medication home delivery service is necessary to provide access to critical medications to patients who are at home, relieve pressure on pharmacists, and protect patients from unnecessary exposure.”

The fast-tracked rollout of MedAdvisor’s phase 1 delivery service, which allows patients to order, pay and request delivery of their medication all from within the MedAdvisor App, has already seen over 750 pharmacies come on board. This enables pharmacies to continue to deliver with their own drivers.

The roll-out for Kings will commence in Brisbane’s inner metro followed by Melbourne on the 20th of April and Sydney on the 27th of April. Through the partnership, MedAdvisor will provide same-day delivery for orders placed before noon from Monday to Friday and patients will have live tracking access to their medication delivery.

Pharmacists have largely become Australia’s forgotten frontline when it comes to the fight against COVID-19.

“Pharmacists are going on week 4 of working around the clock to meet demand, supplying life-saving medications to Australians. But as they burn the midnight oil, their shelves have been stripped of supplies, they have copped physical and verbal abuse from scared patients, have largely been left without appropriate PPE and all while facing extended trading hours as they remain one of the few places Australians can still go to while in lockdown,” Read said.

“Pharmacists need access to appropriate PPE and protocols, they need access to mental health support, they need us to recognise their efforts. No longer should they be the forgotten frontline of healthcare. Pharmacists are the critical connection between clinical care, medication and community engagement. By fast-tracking this delivery support, we hope to help ease some of the in-store traffic and stress for our pharmacist network.”

The Federal Government recently announced a $25 million package to support pharmacists deliver much-needed medications to those at risk in the community. MedAdvisor has discounted the cost for each delivery through Kings (up to a 5km radius from the pharmacy) to $7.77 during the COVID-19 crisis. Pharmacies can claim this full amount as part of the COVID-19 package announced last month so it, therefore, costs the pharmacy nothing to deliver to an eligible patient, once monthly.

MedAdvisor’s software will also facilitate the pharmacists’ ability to claim this funding for delivery services, further relieving pressure during this time. It’s something that MedAdvisor’s data shows is much needed with more than half of orders occurring outside regular business hours with both patients and pharmacists actively looking for solutions. Over 30% of MedAdvisor’s app users are over 60-years-old and therefore potentially high-risk patients if they were to contract COVID-19.

According to MedAdvisor’s data, the volume of orders continues to grow. The volume is up more than 35% on normal trends and we have seen the highest week be 70% more than a week from the month prior. In light of this increased demand for digital and remote medicines management, MedAdvisor has also ramped up support for its remote GP script ordering service so patients can have scripts written, filled and delivered without needing to visit a GP clinic and pharmacy – further minimising social interaction for vulnerable patients.

“Australia’s GPs and pharmacists are at the frontline of this COVID-19 crisis. By boosting the technology platforms they rely on with much-needed features like online ordering and delivery, we can enable pharmacies to receive and seamlessly process medication requests and handle their payment, directly reducing the number of patients having to leave their home, and help put an end to the burden of in-store shelf stripping many of these outlets are contending with.”

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