The Irish Pharmacy market experienced a big shake up in January this year, when new Dundrum-based pharmacy, Healthwave, introduced its HealthPass subscription service guaranteeing the best pricing for medication, prescriptions and over the counter (OTC) drugs in Ireland. Now consumers are likely to benefit once again as Healthwave introduces a free nationwide ‘door-to-door’ delivery service for prescription medicines, the first of its kind in Ireland.
“The premise of Healthwave is to provide transparent pricing and universal access to affordable medication in Ireland,” explains Shane O’Sullivan, Pharmacist and CEO Healthwave. We are committed to providing a superior level of care than currently exists in Ireland. We have removed the price barrier, now we removing the location barrier while maintaining the same level of care experienced in the pharmacy
“We had a huge response to our HealthPass service, with people coming from all over Ireland to Healthwave in Dundrum. Many had stopped taking medication due to the cost, but travelled some distance to Healthwave. Our focus is ensuring our members have continuous access to their medicines by providing a free nationwide service”, he added.
In Ireland, posting medication or drugs is not permitted, however courier delivery is permitted with conditions under guidance from the pharmacy regulator. Healthwave has engaged with the regulator in recent months to create the prescription delivery service and ensure compliance with Irish pharmacy legislation. Healthwave is working with DPD Ireland, which is authorised by the Irish Medicines Board under GDP regulations to transport medications to patients nationwide. Healthwave will cover the cost of delivery, so members all over the country have access to the HealthPass service should they have difficulty getting to the pharmacy.
“By law, pharmacies can only supply medication when they have the original prescription in hand and the patient has received the relevant advice from the pharmacist,” explains qualified pharmacist and Healthwave founder, Shane O’Sullivan. “Once a patient has visited Healthwave, our pharmacists complete a therapeutic review of their medication, provide counselling on the safe and appropriate use of each product, stamp their prescription and hold it for repeat dispensing, as do other pharmacies. However we can now provide the repeat dispensing via secure courier, and using our online re-ordering and proof of delivery signing, we will be compliant with guidelines issued by the Regulator.”
Healthwave has hired a team of pharmacists to ensure every patient or carer availing of the new service is offered the appropriate counselling on the proper use of their medication in line with current legislation. The new free service will include an automated text service, door to door courier and follow up phone call from a qualified pharmacist to offer further information, advice and support.
The HealthPass subscription scheme is the first of its kind in Ireland, and it is modelled on US pharmacy operators. While other pharmacies have reduced the mark up on medications, including generic medicines, only the HealthPass service, which costs €25 ensures that consumers pay the lowest price by passing on all of the discount on drug prices. This results in savings of more than 50% which can generate over €250 in total savings a year per medication.
As well as HealthPass, Healthwave pharmacy will also have an app (HealthwaveHQ), coming on stream in May, and app features include a pill reminder alert, barcode price scan for comparison pricing, prescription re-order, and access to the online Healthwave shop at www.healthwave.ie.
Selling predominantly generic medication, Healthwave not only promises to provide the best value medication, but their team of qualified and experienced pharmacists are on hand to provide assistance and support to consumers with any questions or health concerns.
The Healthwave store in Dundrum has a full pharmacy, health foods, health screening area and a wide range of health & wellness products.