Paul Graham is the CEO of Genrus United, which helps those without health coverage gain the lowest prices possible on prescriptions and additional health services. Submitted photo

Genrus United may have launched to the public in November 2017, but the idea came to the four co-founders long before.

“We had the idea 10 years ago,” said CEO Paul Graham. “But the timing was simply wrong.”

Graham says the number of Canadians who have no drug insurance has now grown dramatically.

“More than eight million Canadians have neither health insurance nor Pharmacare, and they end up paying the highest prices for prescription drugs,” said Graham. “Because they can’t afford them, these people are often not taking their medications at all —or taking less than prescribed.

“Ours isn’t a magic wand, but it is one solution.”

Genrus United is not insurance, according to Graham. It is a buying group that allows individuals without coverage to access lower prices on prescriptions and additional health services.

“We use the buying power of a large group to negotiate the same prices that are given to insurance and Pharmacare,” said Graham.

He says the need for this service is apparent in the group’s rapid growth.

“When we started, pharmacies were a little skeptical,” said Graham. “We started with one location and monitored the success of the program. Once we had the proof, we showed it to others who were then ready to sign on.

“We are now up to 12 pharmacy partners and it’s growing all the time.”

Genrus United is offered locally at West End Family PharmaChoice, their exclusive partner at Eagles Landing on Prince Street.

The company has experienced tremendous growth is its first year, but has no plans to rest on its laurels.

“We will be expanding in two different ways,” Graham said. “The first is regional. We have plans to expand across Canada so that everyone who can benefit has access to our group.”

Graham says that the second way they will be expanding is in terms of the services available to group members.

“We have immediate plans to expand into dental care, vision care, and physiotherapy,” he said. “This should be in place before the end of the year.”

The growth of the company makes for busy times, but there are three things that Graham says cause him to love going into work.

“The first is the environment. We’ve put a lot of effort into this being a warm place to work,” begins Graham. “Next, the work is always a challenge. It keeps things interesting. Finally, we are genuinely helping people. I hear stories from our clients on a weekly basis that show the value of what we are doing.”

For those who are thinking about starting a business, Graham has some simple advice.

“Have the right attitude,” Graham said. “So much is about being positive and remaining persistent. If you know that there is a place for your business, keep working until it succeeds.”

For anyone with questions about eligibility, Graham suggests they check out the website or drop by their office in Bible Hill.

“We have an open-door policy,” he explained. “We want people with no access to coverage for medication to know that they have options.”

Genrus United is located at 241 Pictou Rd., Bible Hill. For more information, call 902-843-4367, reach out on Facebook, or visit their website at www.genrusunited.ca.