Manulife has announced that this fall, in collaboration with Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation, it will launch the first medical marijuana program in Canada. The program will be available on individual health insurance plans in Canada and those participating in group benefits plans.
Under the partnership, specialist Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacists will support Manulife customers who have been approved for medical marijuana coverage, giving them guidance to choose the treatment that best suits their specific circumstances.
The pharmacists will advise on the different strains of medical marijuana and the different ways they can be taken or ingested. Based on this support, Manulife customers can choose the treatment that is both most suitable and covered under their Manulife Benefits plan.
"Medical marijuana can be complex. Most medically-authorized patients need help finding the right solution for their condition," said Donna Carbell, Senior Vice President, Group Benefits. "Manulife's medical marijuana program will ensure people have appropriate advice, make informed decisions and receive the support they need to choose the appropriate strain for their condition."
Manulife customers will receive ongoing case management support from pharmacists from Shoppers Drug Mart's patient care in the form of education, regular check-ins, counselling, and phone and email contact.
"Shoppers Drug Mart's trusted healthcare professionals can provide patients with greater attention and support to navigate the complexities of medical cannabis therapies," said Mark Rolnick, Vice President, Employer Health Solutions, Shoppers Drug Mart. "We are excited about this new partnership and its ability to help Manulife customers live their lives well."
Manulife will release more details about the initiative when the program goes live.
In February, Sun Life Financial Inc. announced it would add medical marijuana coverage as an option for its group benefits plans. Great-West Life Assurance Co. has also said it plans to add to its medical marijuana coverage options in its group plans this year.
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