Conference coverage: 2018 Halifax Benefits Summit

On Sept. 20, the 2018 Halifax Benefits Summit featured insightful sessions on benefits, health and wellness and drug plan trends. With population numbers struggling in the Maritimes, the conference looked at how companies can ensure they’re providing plan members with the best, most competitive benefits options in order to attract and retain talent. 

Here are some of the highlights of the sessions:

Are Canadians changing their views on a national pharmacare program?
The issue of a national pharmacare program is more nuanced than it may appear at first glance, said Joe Farago during a presentation at the event.
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The costs, benefits of pharmacy services on private drug plans
Perceptions of pharmacists are behind the times. While plan members, and even plan sponsors, may see the role of the pharmacist as primarily counting pills, there’s much more that goes into filling a prescription.
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Advice from a 38-year journey with rheumatoid arthritis
As the former senior vice-president of sales in the group customer division of the Great-West Life Assurance Co., Jeff Aarssen is very familiar with drug plans and the challenges facing plans sponsors and administrators.
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A look at four benefits plan models for covering medical marijuana
For Jonathan Zaid, the benefits of medical cannabis aren’t theoretical or clinical; they’re deeply personal.
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The role of pharmacists in improving access to health care, patient outcomes
Despite significant awareness and discussion around what ails Canada’s health-care system, little has changed, said Rose Dipchand at the conference.
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Employers challenged in balancing member care, plan sustainability
Plan sponsors and administrators walk a razor’s edge, striving to ensure members have access to the services they need while also making certain the plan is financially sustainable.
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Biosimilars have potential to offer relief for rising drug plan costs
While the impact of biologics on patients has proven successful, it’s counterbalanced by an equally significant fiscal impact, delegates heard at the event.
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Personalizing biologic treatment in the age of biosimilars
Don’t confuse biosimilars with generic drugs, cautioned Dr. Ian Blumer at the conference in September.
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