Despite numerous price drops in recent years, Ireland is still one of the most expensive countries in the world to buy medicine, particularly prescription medication. However, Healthwave, a new pharmacy based in Dundrum with an online channel, is set to disrupt the Irish market significantly by providing medications, prescriptions and over the counter (OTC), at a huge cost saving to the consumer.
“The cost of medication in Ireland has been multiples of those seen in other European countries, most notably across the border in Northern 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.
“Pharmacies in Northern Ireland have been experiencing higher sales in recent years due to the number of customers travelling from the Republic to fulfil prescriptions at a fraction of the cost in the North. Healthwave will save Irish customers money, and not just in terms of petrol charges but with real savings on medicines. With HealthPass, our prices are on par with the prices offered in Northern Ireland pharmacies”, added O’Sullivan.
A 28 day supply of Atorvastatin (10mg), the generic cholesterol medication, currently costs €10.42 in the Republic of Ireland compared to just £5 or €5.99 in a pharmacy in Newry. HealthPass will provide the same supply of Atorvastatin (10mg) for €4.95, a saving of over 50% a month on the prescription.
HealthPass, the Healthwave subscription service with an annual fee of €25, guarantees Irish consumers the best pricing for medication in Ireland.
“The HealthPass scheme is the first of its kind in Ireland, and it is modelled on systems currently in place in pharmacies across the US. By using HealthPass you can monitor your health, renew prescriptions and save money, it’s a progressive new system for pharmacies and we are excited to share it with our customers”, he added.
Other pharmacies in Ireland have reduced the mark up on medications, including generic medicines. However only the HealthPass service ensures that consumers pay the lowest price, by passing on all of the discount on drug prices, in some cases resulting in a saving of more than 50% which can generate over €250 in total savings a year per medication.
For example, a Drug Payment Scheme (DPS) user who suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) usually pays €144 at the pharmacy, the government then subsidises the remainder of the total fee, which is an additional €19.46. Under the HealthPass service, the customer will now pay only €100 per month, a personal saving of €44 and a state saving of €19.46.
Providing a nationwide service, through www.healthwave.ie, customers throughout Ireland can avail of the fantastic HealthPass discounts and even email prescriptions through to the Healthwave team for pricing.
As well as HealthPass, Healthwave pharmacy will also have an app (HealthwaveHQ), coming on stream in February, including a pill reminder alert, barcode price scan, prescription re-order, and access to the online Healthwave shop. The store also includes several options for “quantified self” wearables, which is the big trend for 2014, enabling customers to record and analyse calorie consumption and energy used, heart and blood pressure monitoring, weight monitor and all other vital stats.
Following recent government policy, pharmacists are obliged to substitute a prescribed medicine for a generic alternative for those on medical cards. Widespread generic substitution is taking place in pharmacies here, for all patients, but the mark up on generics here is often 3 and 4 times the value of the medication in other countries.
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 flagship store is now open in Dundrum, it has a full pharmacy, health foods, health screening area and a wide range of health & wellness products, www.healthwave.ie.
About Generic Medicines
Generic medicines are those where patent protection has expired, and which may be produced by manufacturers other than the innovator company. Use of generic medicines has been increasing in recent years, primarily as a cost saving measure in healthcare provision. Generic medicines are typically 20% to 90% cheaper than originator equivalents.
In Britain, 80% of medication dispensed is generic brand compared to just 18% here in Ireland. There are definitely savings to be made by buying generic; they are safe and effective, and offer consumers great value. But in Ireland, even the generic medicines prices have been inflated, at the expense of the consumer.
Breakdown of HealthPass savings for customer with COPD:
|HealthPass Price||Irish pharmacy price|
|Beclomethasone 250mcg Inhaler||22.30||31.34|
|Customer (DPS) 144.00|
|State (above 144) 19.46|
Healthwave provides a new approach to pharmacy care in Ireland, providing generic alternatives to enable significant cost savings for effective and safe medication. Healthwave also uses innovative technology, including self- service health screening kiosks, and a HealthPass online membership platform and app. Highly novel in its service and business model, Healthwave is a game changer in the Irish pharmacy market.
Healthwave is a member of the Irish Pharmacy Union of Ireland.
About Healthwave Founder & CEO, Shane O’Sullivan
Shane O’Sullivan is a qualified pharmacist, he graduated from University College Cork in 2008. Shane also holds a Diploma in Business Studies from Griffith College. Shane has a keen interest in technology and has developed an iPhone app for the GAA called GAA Journo.
How to Find Healthwave:
Healthwave is based in Dundrum, Dublin 16, Ireland.
By Luas: Take the Green line to Balally. When you come up the steps from the platform, cross the road and head towards the RSA building. You will see Healthwave down to the right on Sandyford Road.
By Bus: Take the 44 towards Enniskerry or the 44b towards Glencullen. The 44 leaves from O’Connell St in Dublin City centre. Get off at stop no. 2828 (Riversdale) which is right outside the front door of Healthwave.
By Car: On the M50, take exit 13 for Dundrum/Sandyford. Drive through 3 roundabouts, you will see tesco on the left at the third roundabout. At the next set of traffic lights turn left onto Sandyford Road. Healthwave is the third unit on the left. There is a loading bay outside or alternatively, a multistory car park is available in Dundrum Town Centre next to our store.
From inside Dundrum Town Centre: From Starbucks on level 2, walk out through the exit between Starbucks and Boots (marked with signs for the Luas). When you get out onto the street, turn right. Healthwave is a few hundred yards up the street on your right.