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Jeff LegerTORONTO – Loblaw Companies Ltd. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. will invest $75 million in Maple Corporation, a leading Canadian provider of virtual care services, in exchange for a minority stake in the company.

Maple allows patients to connect online with a variety of healthcare professionals, including general practitioners, specialists and allied health professionals. As the country evolves to a more digitally enabled healthcare system, telemedicine/virtual care has emerged as a key enabler of reliable and convenient access to care.

This investment is an important step as Shoppers Drug Mart looks to make this service more accessible, with a goal to provide a seamless experience for patients as they move between virtual and in-person care.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that Canadians need new ways, particularly virtual ways, to get access to care,” said Jeff Leger (pictured), president, Shoppers Drug Mart. “We know that the future of healthcare is digitally enabled. We believe that our store network and infrastructure, combined with Maple’s technology can help better connect Canadians to the healthcare support they need, whenever and wherever they are.”

Prior to the transaction, Shoppers Drug Mart worked closely with Maple on two strategic initiatives that gave the company an opportunity to understand Maple’s service offering. Maple virtual care is currently available in more than 160 Shoppers Drug Mart locations in British Columbia.

Additionally, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two companies worked together to make virtual care more accessible for Canadians. In less than a month, this initiative enabled nearly 20,000 virtual care visits, during a time when Canadians were asked to stay home and stay safe.

In addition to these initiatives, Maple’s strong history of implementing custom telehealth solutions for governments, hospitals, employers, and insurers made the investment in Maple an attractive choice.

“We’ve watched virtual care solve some of the most complex healthcare issues around the globe, as well as right here in Canada through our own programs,” says Dr. Brett Belchetz, CEO and co-founder of Maple. “We’re thrilled to work hand-in-hand with Shoppers Drug Mart to bring the reliable, convenient, and high-quality access to care that we’ve developed over the past five years to more Canadians than ever before.”

Led by Shoppers Drug Mart, the leader in Canada’s retail drug store marketplace and the number one provider of pharmacy products and services, Loblaw offers full-service pharmacies and professional care from 5,000 healthcare professionals in more than 1,800 locations in 10 provinces and 2 territories. The investment in Maple is another critical building block in Loblaw’s connected healthcare strategy, along with:

  • QHR, a leader in the electronic medical records (EMR) market, providing software and a virtual care service (Medeo) for healthcare providers and their patients
  • Wellwise, a retail experience from Shoppers Drug Mart, created for Canadians who want to take charge of the way they age
  • The Health Clinic by Shoppers, managed primary-care and family practice clinics, providing patients with convenient, one-stop access to medical services and trusted advice

About Maple
Maple is a technology platform that tackles some of the world’s most meaningful issues in healthcare, starting with timely and convenient access to doctors and other healthcare providers including dermatologists, psychiatrists, and oncology navigation experts. It allows patients to connect directly with doctors and specialists for medical care in minutes from their smartphone or computer 24/7, and also provides custom technology solutions for employers, insurers, hospitals, and clinics. Learn more at getmaple.ca.