Direct2U Prescription (D2U), a delivery prescription service administrated at Trent University by the Trent Central Student Association (TCSA), is seeing a continued rise in the number of students using it as it nears the end of its second year.
The service currently has about 350 active students on Alliance Pharmacy and has already given out about 850 scripts from the TCSA office since September. The service is provided by the TCSA through student benefit provider C&C Insurance and Alliance Pharmacy.
“We have been successful because of our close working relationship with the health services who are fully supportive in making this work for the students,” said the Operations Manager at the TCSA, Tracy Milne.
Outside of collaborators, one other reason for success is the ease and convenience of the service, especially for those living on campus, she added, provided the fact that a large number of students live on campus.
The program has been so successful that they are now looking at having surplus money come back to them from the benefits plan because D2U saves money for both TCSA and students, informed Milne.
Currently TCSA is looking at what they can do with the surplus money—for one they are planning to bolster the current benefits plan, add another practitioner, or increase percentage coverage, she said.
Another option is to share some of the finances with the health service, helping students understand what coverage they have, how to use it, and how to get the most out of it.
According to Milne, the main reason for switching from their previous benefits provider, ACL Student Benefits, to the current provider, was the D2U Prescription program. It works in a very simple and easy way such that prescriptions will be safely delivered to the students the very next day for convenient pick up on campus. Besides, the service has made it easy for students to transfer medications from another pharmacy, or have the option to refill medications. Further, the actual administration of it is also very simple for the union.
According to the TCSA President Braden Freer, the amazing feature about the service is it saves time and money for students. Students using D2U Pharmacy will have up to 100 percent of the cost of generic prescriptions while the cost of brand name prescriptions can be covered up to 80 percent, he explained. Those who use traditional pharmacies will have generic prescriptions covered to 80% and brand prescriptions covered to 60%.
However, if the students have a brand prescription and are not allowed to have generic placement, then C&C alters the benefits coverage card to receive the same coverage, informed Milne.
According to Milne, this service has really resonated with students and caught on far more than originally anticipated. She says that St. Mary’s University was the C&C’s leading school last year with Trent just behind them.
But this year Trent has beaten the former leading school in terms of number of students registered with the Alliance pharmacy, and the number of scripts that have gone through the office.
Milne also said that according to the recent survey conducted by TCSA, out of the 564 respondents only 8% indicated they were not satisfied with the program.
“It is so easy! I get a text asking to refill my prescription, it comes to campus the next work day, and picking it up is quick and hassle free. I love, love, love it, please keep it just like this!” said one survey respondent.
Similarly, one of the students on D2U plan shared with Arthur that, “D2U delivered my prescription right at my door when I was away for reading week,” and she only had to inform them where she was located.
While the comment made by that fraction of dissatisfied students indicated issues such as having to provide credit card information, or having to grab medications on weekends when the office is not open, and also having some types of medication not eligible to be delivered, such as narcotics.
In response to the comments TCSA will extend the hours of operation, but not until they move into the new student centre.
However, students can request their medications be delivered to their home, she suggested. But unfortunately they cannot change their policy of requiring a credit card, which is to hold funds during the blackout period, she said. And, we also cannot ask the Alliance Pharmacy to start delivering narcotics, she added.
D2U Alliance pharmacy has also made available over the counter items for students, and this was introduced at the TCSA office few months ago.
It works in a similar way where students can go on the Alliance website to have the delivery on campus the next day. The delivery is free, requiring the students to pay only for the item.
Currently C&C Insurance/Student VIP, Trent’s current student benefit provider, have 11 schools using the Direct2U service.