Home Helen Burnett-Nichols

Specialty drugs can significantly improve (or even save) an employee’s life, but can come at a high cost. Over the past few decades, many employers dove headfirst into drug-pooling arrangements as a key way to deal with those costs, while also ensuring employees get the access needed to an array of medications. But with dozens […]

  • March 19, 2021 March 23, 2021
  • 08:56

Taking a look at private drug plans in 2020, a number of trends are converging: spending on specialty drugs is continuing its upward trajectory, advancements in a number of lifechanging therapies are in the pipeline and policy developments are coming at both the federal and provincial levels. In the face of this potential storm, plan […]

  • March 20, 2020 December 11, 2020
  • 08:55

As a solution to employee inertia, many plan sponsors with defined contribution arrangements are looking at setting automatic features as their plan’s default option. When the Royal Bank of Canada redesigned its DC plan in 2012, it introduced auto-enrolment for all new plan members following a six-month waiting period. Before the change, employees had a […]

  • September 13, 2019 March 6, 2021
  • 08:51

With patient support programs providing a number of benefits for private plan stakeholders, ongoing digitization is likely to allow even greater connectivity and personalization for patients, physicians and payers in the near future. During a panel exploring these initiatives at Benefits Canada‘s Face to Face Drug Plan Management Forum in Toronto on Dec. 5, Sandra Anderson, vice-president of […]

  • January 11, 2019 September 13, 2019
  • 07:59

As plan sponsors and private payers begin integrating medical cannabis coverage into benefits plans, it’s crucial they account for the dynamic nature of the industry and remain adaptable to anticipated changes around distribution and product innovation. Although medical cannabis isn’t new, current offerings are just a first step, said Matt Gaudry, director of product support and management at […]

  • January 11, 2019 September 13, 2019
  • 07:58

Although certain drug categories have always been considered optional in benefits plans, this may be an opportune time to look at modernizing coverage in a number of areas, according to Suzanne Nagy, national drug consulting leader at Mercer Canada. Speaking at Benefits Canada‘s 2018 Face to Face Drug Plan Management Forum in Toronto on Dec. 5, Nagy said […]

  • January 11, 2019 September 13, 2019
  • 07:57

Pharmacogenetic testing can produce significant results for plan members, but it isn’t appropriate for everyone and should never be looked at in isolation, according to a panel discussion at Benefits Canada‘s Face to Face Drug Plan Management Forum.  Speaking on the panel in Toronto on Dec. 5, Mark Faiz, chief executive officer of Personalized Prescribing Inc., said […]

  • January 11, 2019 September 13, 2019
  • 07:56

Even for a complex benefits plan, it’s possible to make changes that have a notable impact on drug sustainability, according to one plan sponsor. The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association group plan, which is provided to 70,000 employees and their dependants, is a highly customized offering that had historically faced challenges around managing its drug spend, said Karen […]

  • January 11, 2019 September 13, 2019
  • 07:55

The Mental Health Commission of Canada attributes nearly one-third of short- and long-term disability claims to mental-health illnesses. As many employers grapple with helping employees receive the treatment they need so they can return to work, the Health Benefit Trust of Alberta has piloted a program that simplifies the process. The problem The trust, a […]

  • December 21, 2018 September 13, 2019
  • 08:59

As pharmacists’ scope of practice continues to evolve to meet changing health-care needs, plan sponsors need to leverage these services to improve care and drive value, according to one expert. “I truly think pharmacy services have great value. But there is a huge misunderstanding or even lack of awareness of what pharmacists can provide and […]

  • November 2, 2018 September 13, 2019
  • 07:59