Dispensing Ethical Health Care at Express Scripts Canada

When you think of ethics in health care, what comes to mind?

  • Privacy
  • Confidentiality
  • Respect
  • Trust
  • Reliability

If you’re one of the millions of Canadians who rely on Express Scripts Canada to process your health claims and/or dispense your prescription medications, chances are you already benefit from the extensive work that we put into delivering ethical health care for all.

Express Scripts Canada adjudicates benefit claims and provides pharmacy services on behalf of numerous private and public sector clients. We use the best available science and data to inform health decision-making, improve health outcomes, and control costs for benefit plan sponsors. We also approach our work with the highest ethical standards.

National Health Ethics Week runs from April 2 to 8, 2018, covering the all-important principle of ethics in health care. While this commemoration lasts for a week, for Express Scripts Canada, ethical behaviour is a constant undertaking.

How seriously does Express Scripts take ethics? We’ve been granted one of the “World’s Most Ethical Company” awards from Ethisphere. That’s right! We were one of only eight health companies worldwide to earn the distinction in 2014.

Express Scripts Canada scores high on the ethical scorecard because it’s part of the nature of our business; we see it as a key differentiator from our competitors. If we aren’t serving our clients, their customers, and our patients with the highest ethical standard, we aren’t living up to our own expectations.

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The culture at Express Scripts Canada sets the overall example and tone. Read our Code of Ethics and you’ll see ethics are anything but an abstract concept. Simply put, we expect ethical behaviour as the standard, default setting in our organization. Our business is built on the ongoing goodwill and trust we’ve established with our clients and their employees.

Some initiatives that ensure we continue to uphold high ethical standards include:

  • Privacy audits
  • Compliance training and strict reporting on any potential conflicts of interest, including a hotline for infractions
  • Regular monitoring and formal oversight from compliance officers
  • Disciplinary action of breaches of Code of Conduct or Code of Ethics
  • Strict adherence to procedures and policies to optimize security of health information, such as the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
  • A “zero gifts” policy for clients, customers or health care professionals

The ethos permeates our entire business, from top to bottom and throughout. Our clients depend on us as a trusted resource to help deliver better health outcomes while ensuring the long-term sustainability of health benefit plans. As health service delivery models evolve with new technology, a commitment to high ethical standards is taking on particular importance in terms of protecting customers’ vital health data.

If you are an Express Scripts Canada Pharmacy member, you should know that high ethical standards are also indispensable to the provision of professional pharmacy services, and our pharmacists are our most visible carriers of the ethical banner.

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Any Canadian pharmacist worth their compounding salts understands that high ethical standards inform everyday pharmacy practice. The Express Scripts Canada Pharmacy strives for a reliable and patient-centric service, whether it’s private health counselling or protecting sensitive health information. Ethical lapses just aren’t tolerated and we’re committed to maintaining the integrity of our relationship with patients who trust and depend on us for the right medication for the right person at the right time.

Check in with the Canadian Bioethics Society for more on National Health Ethics Week 2018, including information on how to register an ethics-related event at your organization.

Read about Express Scripts Holdings Code of Conduct to learn more about how we promote and validate ethical conduct.

For specific information on how ethical considerations apply to the profession of pharmacists, visit the Ontario College of Pharmacists’ recently updated Code of Ethics.