TORONTO, March 24, 2016 /CNW/ - MarijuanaMedInfo Inc. www.marijuanamedinfo.ca today announced the launch of CannabisCoverage, an initiative focused on making drug plan coverage of the cost of medical marijuana consistent with that of prescription medications.
"The need for coverage is an essential aspect of providing the necessary treatment to patients who suffer from intractable chronic pain. They have often tried and failed multiple medications, therapies or surgeries and medical cannabis is, in these cases, a reasonable choice for pain control. For many patients, the out of pocket cost of this therapy is a significant impediment to effective care. From an economic perspective, patients can often decrease their dependence on other medications, most importantly opioids, but also medications such as pregabalin, gabapentin, NSAIDs and anti-depressants" said Dr. Carolina Landolt, rheumatologist and director of the Summertree Medical Clinic in Toronto. "Most drug plans usually cover the costs of these more conventional medicines but unfortunately coverage for medical cannabis is unavailable".
Dan Rego, president of MarijuanaMedInfo agreed, adding that "certain government plans cover medical cannabis consistently for certain conditions and we have had some degree of success in getting coverage for medical marijuana through some disability programs but the big hurdle is private insurance plans provided by employers. While there has been some success getting coverage through the special authorization mechanism of a very small number of these plans, the majority of claims have been rejected initially due to medical marijuana not being on their current formulary of benefits. We are working to change this with CannabisCoverage".
The CannabisCoverage program currently works with a group of clinics and physicians, and their patients to create, submit and follow-up requests for coverage to their insurers and employers. Additionally patients can access the program through the website www.marijuanamedinfo.ca
Dan Rego continued, "We are confident that drug plan coverage for medical marijuana will improve steadily. This is not unlike the coverage / reimbursement situation with new cancer medications – an area where we have extensive experience and continue to work. New medications typically have poor coverage, especially through private insurance plans. It takes a coordinated effort between all the involved parties including manufacturers, employers, insurance companies, and of course the patients and their treating physicians, to highlight the therapeutic benefits of the medicine, the improvements in quality of life, and the pharmacoeconomics of the situation. The case for coverage of medical marijuana is actually quite strong. Apart from the clinical benefits, this medicine is not expensive particularly when compared to some of the medication these patients are already using and getting covered through their plans. We will continue to work with the various stakeholders, including the Licensed Producers, to build on the initial coverage success we have seen through health spending accounts and some government plans and disability plans, to make coverage of medical cannabis for Canadians more consistent with that of conventional prescription medications".
SOURCE MarijuanaMedInfo Inc.
Image with caption: "MarijuanaMedInfo Inc. (CNW Group/MarijuanaMedInfo Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160324_C4655_PHOTO_EN_649950.jpg
For further information: [email protected], MarijuanaMedInfo Inc., 255 Duncan Mill Road Suite #701, Toronto, ON, M3B 3H4, Telephone 1-844-343-6626 ext. 111