Online Pharmacy Aims to Disrupt Retail with Next Day Delivery

Date:

Share post:

A group of British Columbia pharmacists has launched a new online drug store called EasyDrugs to provide free next day delivery of prescriptions and health products throughout B.C.

There is also the opportunity to have real-time virtual pharmacist consultations as well as by phone or by email or text messaging.

“The idea for this and starting the development began really near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. So back in March, April. There was this heightened and more urgent sense of a need to allow patients to be able to receive their prescriptions without leaving their home,” said Dr. Afshin Khazei, medical advisor and partner with the company.

The concept was created by a group of experienced, licensed pharmacists in B.C. who saw the need to accelerate the development of a next-day delivery of an online pharmacy for British Columbians in all corners of the province.

EasyDrugs delivery service. Photo: EasyDrugs Facebook
EasyDrugs delivery service. Photo: EasyDrugs Facebook

“That’s the initial idea that rose out of COVID-19 and the fact that people were encouraged not to leave their homes, but also there is a certain amount of fear, particularly in older patients, and older patients of course are those who often have more prescriptions that are more a critical need to make sure there are no interruptions in their prescriptions,” said Khazei.

“But beyond that kind of initial need for convenience and safety during isolation, we saw an opportunity to build in some innovative features into the app that are actually going to promote safety and quality around prescription use. It’s sort of beyond convenience and moving on to trying to use technology and innovation to actually improve safety and quality.”

The new service provides a single online system to make it easier to talk to a pharmacist, easier to order, reorder, and transfer prescriptions — and easier and quicker to receive them.

EasyDrugs operates via a website and smartphone app to connect people to their pharmacist and their prescriptions while also providing family members and caregivers the ability to manage the prescriptions of others, reducing needless visits and trips to the pharmacy.

The new service also features direct billing service with insurance providers and no cost shipping.

The service is available throughout B.C. but the vision does exist, said Khazei, potentially rolling out the idea to other parts of the country.

EasyDrugs delivery service Instagram post
EasyDrugs delivery service Instagram post

“We see a need for this across Canada but we want to make sure that we demonstrate excellence within the B.C. landscape first and then from there would scale up to go across Canada,” he added.

“I think there’s different reasons why different demographics would use it. The seniors would really come to mind immediately because it eliminates the need for a trip to a physical pharmacy, having to park, wait in the physical space for a prescription to be filled, and then driving home. So that convenience and some elements of safety in the context of a pandemic.

“But then when you look at some of the safety features once you create your profile it will save your medication prescription history and keeps it all on a consolidated medical profile. So that if you’re visiting multiple doctors or seeking care in an emergency department or ambulance visiting you, or you’re travelling outside of Canada, you can show whoever is looking after you, your current medication. This reduces the risk of preventable, adverse medication interactions if the care provider has full knowledge of your profile. You then can also enable family members, your physician, your nurse, other care providers that are in your circle of care, with your permission to co-manage your medication account. So they could help with things like doing refills and they also could help with communicating what you’re on. Really in essence it helps to co-manage and keep everyone on the same page.”

Another interesting element, he said, is the ability to enable text reminders which would send people a text at the time of day when medications need to be taken.

“It addresses a very common issue in medication use which is compliance. We know that a significant number of patients don’t remember to take their medication on time or even take it at all.”

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From The Author

RECENT RETAIL INSIDER VIDEOS

Advertisment

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe

* indicates required

Related articles

Canada’s Competition Bureau Launches Investigation into Loblaws and Sobeys [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that grocers must recognize that today's market is different, with consumers being less tolerant of practices limiting access to affordable food.

Anatomy of a Leader: Sarah Segal, CEO of DAVIDsTEA

Segal discusses her career and how she got to to where she is today, as well as a family history that includes founding a toy store in Montreal and big banners such as Le Chateau.

Apple Launches Tap to Pay on iPhone in Canada, Revolutionizing Contactless Payments for Businesses

Apple says it will allow businesses to seamlessly and securely accept payments using an iPhone and app, adding competition to the crowded payments space.

Half a Billion Dollar Downtown Ottawa Revitalization Announced to Bring Vibrancy to the Core [Feature/Interviews]

The Ottawa Board of Trade and the Canadian Urban Institute launched the initiative that will create new retail opportunities with the addition of 40,000 new residents and 50,000 jobs over 10 years, creating a more vibrant core that will be a destination.

Bayview Village to Overhaul Property with Marble Flooring and Luxe Interior, New Retailers and Restaurants Being Added [Exclusive Renderings/Interviews]

The Toronto shopping centre at Bayview and Sheppard is being transformed into something unrecognizable, creating a 'European-style' centre unlike competitors in the region.

Food Prices Dropping in Canada, Mainstream Media Fails to Report [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that food prices are declining according to StatCan data, but that media and the public have been focusing elsewhere.

Innovative App ‘Too Good To Go’ Rescues 4.2 Million Meals in Canada Since 2022, Plans for Expansion [Interview]

The innovative platform is looking to expand by adding more retailers, after launching two years ago by offering consumers excess end-of-day edible goods from a wide range of businesses.

New Hockey Legends Training Facility in Markham ON Elevates Player Skills with Cutting-Edge Technology [Interview]

The unique indoor training concept allows players to practice including improving shooting and stickhandling skills.

Arc’teryx Opens First ‘Alpha’ Store Concept on Bloor Street in Toronto [Photos]

The largest Arc'teryx store also focuses heavily on product care, and is located on the Mink Mile in the Holt Renfrew Centre.

Waterworks Food Hall to Open in Downtown Toronto Next Month, Showcasing 20 Gourmet Vendors in Historic Location [Interview/Photos]

The highly anticipated food hall on Richmond Street will span 55,000 square feet and will add more food and beverage competition in the downtown core with a range of hand-picked specialty vendors.

Bluenotes Launches ‘Unplug’ Activewear Shop-in-Shops in Stores Across Canada [Interview/Photos]

It's the first activewear line for the Canadian retailer, with dedicated shop-in-stores being part of a segment that is growing rapidly.

A Grocer Code of Conduct Could have Prevented Canada’s Bread Cartel [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that the grocer code aims to curb illegal activities that would make it tougher to orchestrate such schemes.