A medication delivery service called G-MEDS now promises to make life easier for homebound patients and busy caregivers who are unable to visit a clinic to refill a prescription.
Launched last week, it offers a convenient and easy e-service where order, verification, dispensing, payment and logistics are all managed online.
To get started, a patient places his/her order by calling a clinic affiliated to G-MEDS. A doctor verifies the prescription and the patient details. Before the order is approved, the patient must authenticate his/her prescription and personal details.
Delivery is activated once online payment is made. Each package costs S$15 for same day or next day delivery to the home or office. The service is available Mondays to Saturday.
Developed by Singapore-based digital medical startup Gmedes, it is only for patients who have already been diagnosed and have medication prescribed by doctors.
Currently, there are about 2,000 clinics who are affiliated with G-MEDS. Doctors access it on their PCs to access their personalised dashboard to provide the service.
Gmedes chief executive officer, Dennis Susay, described it as the world’s first medication delivery service. “We developed this platform so that doctors continue to be at the centre of patient care,”
“There are many patients who can’t go to the clinics to get their meds, especially if they are on long-term medication to treat chronic diseases like hypertension,” he noted.
“There are also caregivers who are working and who need to rush to clinics from their homes to collect medication,” he added.
Gmedes is among more than 300 healthtech startups in Singapore. Many are platforms providing a swathe of solutions such as remote monitoring, pharmaceutical companies to retail pharmacy outlets, booking caregivers and wellness services.
Others use Big Data to tackle chronic diseases and artificial intelligence for disease prediction. In 2018, health tech startups in Singapore attracted US$105 million in venture funding.
Closed loop ecosystem
G-MEDS is a closed loop ecosystem linking doctors and pharmacies. It is not open to other sectors or professions.
Doctors can fulfil prescriptions from their own clinics or they can access a broad on-demand stock of 2,500 locally approved medications, over-the-counter rugs and supplements, Susay told Techgoondu.
Patients who were diagnosed here but moved to other countries can also contact their doctors to deliver their medication to them. G-MEDs can deliver globally but 99 per cent of its business is going to patients in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and China.
Delivery to Taiwan and North Korea is not allowed because these countries do not permit cross-border movement of medicines. Overseas deliveries cost upwards of S$100 each. Patients also have to pay for any taxes on the medication.
Medication that have been delivered include specialty drugs for cancer and autoimmune disease. Gmedes is working with select hospitals to provide critical drugs, both branded and generic, to patients here.
Susay said G-MEDS is more than a standalone delivery service. Since it concerns the health of patients, it had to fulfil many procedures before medical regulators here gave their approval for the service to be launched.
For example, the service must be secure because it holds patient’s personal details, medical history and medication information.
Then medicines must also be packed in accordance with medical regulation and a proper acceptance and sign-off to complete a delivery is a must.
“A full audit trail is necessary to ensure the right meds are prescribed and received by the right patients,” said Susay.