- Mednow entered into a partnership agreement with HepCURE, one of Canada’s leading hepatitis C screening and treatment providers, to achieve the goal of eliminating hepatitis C in Canada by 2030.
- Liver Care Canada will now offer their patients access to HepCURE’s programming and services to further improve medication adherence and optimize treatment outcomes.
- The collaboration sets the stage for the expansion of Mednow’s Liver Care Canada platform from a base in Ontario, to the rest of Canada.
- Liver Care Canada’s clinic network and teams will further enhance the reach and delivery of services to priority patient populations across Canada through this collaborative partnership.
- The partnership sets the foundation for one of Mednow’s goals of servicing the marginalized populations of Canada.
Liver Care Canada (a subsidiary of Mednow Inc.) (TSXV: MNOW) (OTCQX:MDNWF), is pleased to announce that it has entered into a partnership agreement with HepCURE, a non-profit company and one of Canada’s leading hepatitis C screening and treatment providers, to achieve the goal of eliminating hepatitis C in Canada by 2030.
“This is the first time two providers that treat hepatitis C have joined forces to share their knowledge and expertise to make a significant impact on elimination of hepatitis C in Canada. This partnership represents a transformational shift in industry by breaking down and eliminating competitive behaviors that will only further benefit patients in need of care and treatment and bring synergies to both organizations,” said Karim Ragheb, CEO of Liver Care Canada, a company Mednow acquired earlier this year.
Liver Care Canada will now offer their patients access to HepCURE’s programming and services to further improve medication adherence and optimize treatment outcomes. Furthermore it will expand the Liver Care Business outside of Ontario to the rest of Canada.
“This is an example of how commercial/for profit and non-profits can work together for a noble cause and be more effective than traditional fundraising or government-reliant solutions. We are excited to join forces with HepCURE as our elimination partner and to offer our patients a comprehensive model of care that truly breaks down treatment barriers. We also plan to expand HepCURE’s model of care nationally across our network to support underserved communities in need. We have already implemented HepCURE’s model in Vancouver where almost half of screened participants are testing positive for prior hepatitis C exposure and where many require care and treatment,” said Ali Reyhany, Founder and CEO at Mednow.
Mednow earlier this year acquired Liver Care Canada, and now looks to expand and scale that business nationally by leveraging Mednow’s existing national pharmacy footprint.
Risk-based testing is the main approach to hepatitis testing in Canada. It involves conducting tests for people who have an increased chance of being exposed to hepatitis C, either because they have certain behavioural, clinical or demographic characteristics that put them at ongoing risk for hepatitis C, or because they may have been exposed to hepatitis C in the past.10
“Programs and services should be informed, appropriate, accessible, and acceptable to people who are members of priority populations to achieve Hep C elimination goals. HepCURE’s programming has been specifically tailored for priority populations, many who do not normally seek care because of discrimination. Our model of care has been successful in diagnosing 91% of program participants that have been exposed to hepatitis C and linking 80% of qualified patients to care and treatment. Treatment is very costly and can result in high exposure to both public and private payers if not managed correctly. We spend a lot of time providing meaningful education to those at risk and have maintained >85% treatment compliance rates over the last 12 months for those requiring treatment resulting in better clinical outcomes,” explains Christian Marcoux, Founder & Director of Outreach Services at HepCURE.
Liver Care Canada’s clinic network and teams will further enhance the reach and delivery of services to priority patient populations across Canada through this collaborative partnership.
About Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is spread through blood-to-blood contact with an infected person. The hepatitis C virus can survive on surfaces outside the body for up to 3 weeks.1 You may risk exposure to hepatitis C by using injection drugs (even once), sharing drug paraphernalia (e.g., pipes, straws, spoons, needles, cookers), receiving body services that use unclean tools or work practices (e.g., tattooing, acupuncture, body piercing, pedicures, manicures or medical procedures), sharing personal care items with an infected person (e.g., razors, scissors, nail clippers, toothbrushes), having sex with an infected person, or having had a blood transfusion or received blood products prior to July 1990.
You can have hepatitis C for many years without having symptoms or feeling sick, even though the virus may be injuring your liver.2 In Canada, hepatitis C is about 3.5 times more common than HIV. In 2011, it was estimated that up to 245,000 Canadians were living with chronic hepatitis C, compared to an estimated 71,000 people living with HIV.3 Almost half (44%) of Canadians infected are unaware they are living with the disease.4
Although preventable and curable, Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been described as Canada’s “most burdensome infectious illness” since it causes more years of life lost than any other infectious disease in the country.5 Without urgent actions, HCV will continue to spread, and Canada will face increasing rates of HCV-related illness and death in the coming years, with a corresponding surge in healthcare costs.6
In May 2016, Canada signed on to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s first ever Global Viral Hepatitis Strategy, with the goal of eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. Yet the federal government has been clear that the provinces and territories will be accountable to their citizens to meet this target, not the federal government and only seven of ten provinces are on track towards viral hepatitis elimination goals.7
Our current centralized HCV testing process particularly impedes our ability to bring HCV care to priority populations, many of whom face barriers to accessing mainstream healthcare.8
Partnerships are essential in solving some of the most pressing public health challenges.9
About Mednow Inc.
Mednow is a healthcare technology company offering virtual access with a high-standard of care. Designed with accessibility and quality of care in mind, Mednow.ca provides virtual pharmacy and telemedicine services as well as doctor home visits through an interdisciplinary approach to healthcare that is focused on the patient experience. Mednow’s services include free at-home delivery of medications, a user-friendly interface for easy upload, transfer, and refill of prescriptions, access to healthcare professionals through an intuitive chat experience, a specialized PillSmart™ system that packages prescriptions, and vitamins by date and time, and doctor consultations.
About Liver Care Canada
Liver Care Canada focuses on the treatment of Liver Disease; the 8-clinic network provides access to hepatologists, gastroenterology specialists, specialty nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and mobile care services and services over 20,000 patient visits per year.
HepCURE is a non-profit organization that provides access to screening and treatment services for priority populations at risk of hepatitis C exposure. HepCURE offers 24/7 telephone intake & support, provincewide mobile screening units with outreach teams, participation incentives, transportation assistance, end-to-end linkage to treatment, weekly adherence monitoring of prescribed treatments and a network of pharmacies and community-based clinics to coordinate and optimize treatments to achieve positive health outcomes.
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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
This release includes certain statements and information that may constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. All statements in this news release, other than statements of historical facts, including statements regarding future estimates, plans, objectives, timing, assumptions or expectations of future performance, are forward-looking statements and contain forward-looking information, including statements relating to: Mednow’s plan to expand its operations and open fulfillment centres in certain locations in 2022, Mednow’s goal of integrating the technology of its strategic business acquisitions with its core fulfillment pharmacies, the optimization of Mednow’s PillSmartTM and nutraceutical offerings, Mednow’s ability to connect with employers, specialty doctors and large pharmacies, and Mednow’s ability to acquire customers and lower costs.
Generally, forward-looking statements and information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “intends” or “anticipates”, or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “should”, “would” or “occur”. Forward-looking statements are based on certain material assumptions and analysis made by the Company and the opinions and estimates of management as of the date of this press release, including that Mednow will be successful in opening additional fulfillment centres, integrating and optimizing technologies, growing its network of patients, doctors and pharmacies, and lowering costs. These forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or forward-looking information. Important factors that may cause actual results to vary, include, without limitation, that Mednow will not be successful in opening additional fulfillment centres, integrating and optimizing technologies, expanding its network of clients and partners, and other risk factors set out in the Company’s final long form prospectus dated February 26, 2021 available for review on the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com. Although management of the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and forward-looking information. Readers are cautioned that reliance on such information may not be appropriate for other purposes. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement, forward-looking information or financial out-look that are incorporated by reference herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety1
- Canadian Network on Hepatitis C (CanHepC). Blueprint to inform hepatitis C elimination efforts in Canada.4,5,6 https://www.canhepc.ca/sites/default/files/media/documents/blueprint_hcv_2019_05.pdf
Action Hepatitis Canada7, 8
Investor Relations Contact:
Benjamin Ferdinand, CFO