KINGSTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 5, 2016) - The Empire Life Insurance Company (Empire Life) announced today it is introducing Actively Managed Drug Solutions for customers with pay-direct drug plans. This complimentary new service will help employers better manage drug benefit costs while helping their employees achieve better health.

Powered by Express Scripts Canada and designed for employees who take maintenance and/or specialty drugs, it provides personalized education and coaching as well as dispensing of medication and treatment facilitation. The result is that employees:

  • better understand their health condition and treatment;
  • are alerted to the availability of clinically appropriate, lower cost alternative medications, so they can make cost-effective decisions;
  • benefit from the convenience of longer day-supplies of medication delivered directly to the address of their choice, as well as other services that enhance adherence; and,
  • are more likely to take medication as prescribed and suffer fewer unnecessary complications

The full suite of Actively Managed Drug Solutions services is offered in all provinces except Quebec.

Chronic disease is on the rise in Canada. That means more medication is being charged to drug benefit plans. At the same time, new specialty drugs are coming to market in ever greater number. They can dramatically improve treatment and quality of life for employees-and they can be costly. According to Express Scripts Canada, specialty drugs accounted for 2% of the claims they adjudicated in 2015 but 30% of customers' drug spend overall. Express Scripts Canada predicts this will reach 42% of spend by 2019. Tackling cost head-on through cost shifting or cutting benefits can be counterproductive in the long run. When employees can't afford to fill their prescriptions they often go without, which can lead to further illness, the need for more medication, and disability absences.

"New higher cost drugs are just one of the factors putting pressure on drug benefits, and our customers need solutions to keep their plans sustainable and competitive" said Steve Pong, senior vice-president, Group Solutions at Empire Life. "We are delighted to partner with Express Scripts Canada on Actively Managed Drug Solutions. It helps employees stay on track with their treatment, and helps customers keep their drug benefits more sustainable-so plans can afford to cover specialty drugs when they are needed."

"Overall, one in every three dollars is spent without improving patient health outcomes" said Mike Biskey, President, Express Scripts Canada. "Doctors don't always understand drug costs or employees' drug benefits. Often, employees do not know what their drug plan encompasses. We bring all this information together in one place and work with employees and their doctors to help them understand their medication choices and costs. This gives them information they can use to perhaps choose a less expensive medication that will work just as well. We help employees understand what their choices are and of course we are here to help them make the best choice. It's all about providing a better drug benefit service for employees at a lower cost to the employer and the employee."

About Empire Life

Empire Life is a subsidiary of E-L Financial Corporation Limited. Since 1923, Empire Life has provided competitive individual and group life and health insurance, investment and retirement to Canadians. Our mission is to make it simple, fast and easy for Canadians to build wealth, generate income and get the insurance and group benefits coverage they need. As of June 30, 2015 Empire Life had total assets under management of $14.2 billion. Follow Empire Life on Twitter @EmpireLife or visit our website, for more information.

About Express Scripts Canada

Express Scripts Canada transforms the way organizations and employees think about and participate in their drug benefit plan. Express Scripts Canada provides pharmacy services to thousands of Canadian patients. Through its proprietary consumer intelligence, clinical expertise, and patients-first approach, Express Scripts Canada promotes better health decisions for plan members, while managing and reducing drug benefit costs for plan sponsors. Express Scripts Canada is indirectly owned by Express Scripts Holding Company. For more information, visit

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Contact Information:

Catherine Hardwick
Manager, Group Marketing & Promotions, Group Solutions
(613) 548-1890 ext. 4210