Pharmacy franchisor Shoppers Drug Mart has entered into an agreement with Great-West Life to expand its coverage of medical cannabis by delivering its Medical Cannabis Coaching Program.
“We’ve expanded our optional medical cannabis coverage to our Pay-Direct Drug plans, which represent the majority of our plans, to help the financial, physical, and mental well-being of Canadians,” said Great-West Life’s drug strategy pharmacist and manager Bobby Currie. “Participating sponsors will now be able to support their plan members who are prescribed medical cannabis for conditions related to multiple sclerosis, cancer, human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), or symptoms related to palliative care by directing them to Shoppers Drug Mart’s Medical Cannabis Coaching Program, delivered through its Ontario-based call centre, to help them navigate strain selection and administration.”
Since medical cannabis is not available in retail pharmacies, the program will co-ordinate the product’s delivery to the plan member’s home and offer case management support via check-ins, counselling, education, and support by phone and e-mail.
The program allows eligible plan members to submit their claims using their Pay-Direct Drug cards. While reimbursement at the point of sale is currently available in Ontario, other provinces and territories are expected to follow soon.
Great-West Life has set rigorous and comprehensive access controls to help ensure plans remain sustainable, including predetermined conditions, a range of annual maximums capped at $5000, coverage criteria, and eligibility guidelines to ensure appropriate use.