OTTAWA, Nov. 25, 2016 /CNW/ - Cannabis Canada Association, the voice of Canada's Licensed Producers, acknowledges the intent of the Veterans Affairs Canada's new reimbursement policy on cannabis for medical purposes and applauds the department's recognition of the need for continued insurance coverage of medical cannabis for Canada's Veterans as this treatment has proven effective to address a host of health issues faced by Veterans, most notably, post-traumatic stress disorder.
"We understand the requirement to manage the budget, and concur with the maxim of 'start low and go slow' with any prescribed medication, including medical cannabis," said Colette Rivet, Executive Director of Cannabis Canada. "We do, however, believe that physicians are the ones who should be deciding appropriate dosages to manage their patients' conditions, and so are glad to note that there will be an exceptional circumstances process for Veterans whose physicians determine they need more than the three grams per day cap, in order to ensure their health and well-being."
In making the announcement, Minister Hehr indicated that the new policy was the result of consultations conducted over the last year and that Veterans Affairs will continue to monitor developments and be flexible, adapting and adjusting as required when new information becomes available. The Association welcomed this commitment, noting the apparent contradiction of the Department referencing the importance of a fair, market value price at the same time as it sets an arbitrary cap on the price per gram that it will reimburse; and pointing to the proposal to cap the price of a gram of cannabis oil at the same price as a gram of dried cannabis bud as being especially problematic, given that the cost to produce a gram of oil is much higher.
"At the end of the day, we all want the same thing: for Canada's Veterans to be able to access the course of treatment prescribed by their medical professionals to ease their symptoms," said Ms Rivet. "The growth in prescriptions is evidence that patients and doctors are showing a preference for cannabis therapy over traditional pharmaceuticals."
Ms Rivet underlined that Canada's Licensed Producers are prepared to play their part to ensure compliance with the new guidelines, and that the Association and its members will continue to work closely with the Government to protect the interests of all patients, including Veterans, as Canada's medical cannabis system continues to evolve.
About Cannabis Canada
Cannabis Canada is the leading organization of Canada's Licensed Producers of Medical Cannabis under Health Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).
The Association's mission is to act as the national voice for our members in their promotion of industry standards; support the development, growth and integrity of the regulated cannabis industry; and serve as a trusted resource on issues related to the safe and responsible use of cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes.
Members of Cannabis Canada share a philosophy of both patient-centric care and improved public health, and are committed to product safety and quality, secure and reliable access and the promotion of the safe and effective use of cannabis. www.cann-can.ca
SOURCE Cannabis Canada Association
Image with caption: "Logo: Cannabis Canada Association (CNW Group/Cannabis Canada Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161125_C7423_PHOTO_EN_825811.jpg
For further information: Colette Rivet, Executive Director, Cannabis Canada Association, [email protected], 613.407.1080