Coverage for Medicinal Marijuana
Q.) Is medical cannabis covered by Sun Life
Reason: To be covered drugs must have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) and be dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. Medical cannabis does not meet either of these requirements. A DIN is assigned by Health Canada when it is approved for sale by them in Canada. Medical cannabis, while available in Canada, is not actually approved by Health Canada for sale. It became legal via a Supreme Court of Canada decision and therefore Health Canada never approved it for sale for medical purposes and thus never gave it a DIN. In order for a DIN to be assigned drugs need to go through rigorous testing, which medical cannabis has not (at least that meets the standards of Health Canada). Experts say that it is unlikely that cannabis will ever go through the testing required to get a DIN.
Medical cannabis is also dispensed by a licensed producer. Licensed producers aren’t required to have pharmacists on staff and therefore cannabis is also not dispensed by a pharmacist, another requirement of the plan.
You can read more about the reasons for this in a bulletin issued by pharmacists here and an access activist group here.