Manulife, Shoppers Drug Mart launch medical marijuana partnership

Manulife Financial Corp. is launching a medical marijuana program in partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. this fall.

The program, which will be available for participating group benefits plans and individual plans in Canada, will involve specially trained pharmacists from Shoppers Drug Mart at a patient care centre based in Ontario.

The pharmacists will be available to help Manulife plan members who have been approved for medical marijuana coverage, offering counsel on different strains of the drug and methods for its administration. Plan members will then be able to choose the treatment that best meets their needs and their coverage.

Read: Aurora Cannabis to cover medical marijuana for employees

“Medical marijuana can be complex. Most medically authorized patients need help finding the right solution for their condition,” said Donna Carbell, senior vice-president of group benefits at Manulife, in a news release. “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.”

Plan members will also receive ongoing case management support from the pharmacists through check-ins, counselling, phone and email support and education.

“Shoppers Drug Mart’s trusted health-care professionals can provide patients with greater attention and support to navigate the complexities of medical cannabis therapies,” said Mark Rolnick, vice-president of employer health solutions at Shoppers Drug Mart. “We are excited about this new partnership and its ability to help Manulife customers live their lives well.”

Read: Sanofi survey finds plan sponsors split on issue of medical cannabis