December 3, 2019
British Columbia now has access to Medical Cannabis by ShoppersTM
The Shoppers ecommerce platform for medical cannabis (shoppersdrugmart.ca/cannabis) allows patients to order directly from a trusted source, provides counselling, strain selection and support
TORONTO, Dec. 3, 2019 /CNW/ - Today, Shoppers Drug Mart expanded its online platform for the sale of medical cannabis to include British Columbia. The service breaks down existing barriers for patients by providing convenient access to a broader range of options through a single source, alongside expert advice and counsel from trusted healthcare professionals.
According to Statistics Canada, over 1.1 million Canadians use cannabis for medical purposes, but more than 800,000 patients are self-medicating with recreational or illegal cannabis without the guidance of a healthcare professional.i In British Columbia, 18,326 people obtain their medical cannabis through the legal system, but the patient population is likely much larger.ii The high rate of self-medicating is concerning as a 2019 survey found that 76 per cent of medical cannabis patients wrongly believe there are no side effects from combining cannabis with other medications.iii
"Canadians continue to use cannabis for medical purposes but many have been left behind by traditional models. Patients need more convenient access to their medicine with professional oversight and trusted support," said Jeff Leger, President, Shoppers Drug Mart. "We expanded Medical Cannabis by Shoppers™ nationally to provide enhanced service to more patients so they can feel empowered to access medical cannabis through the medical market with the guidance of healthcare professionals."
First launched in Ontario in January 2019 and then in Alberta in April 2019, Medical Cannabis by Shoppers™ provides patients access to a number of products from Canadian licensed producers, shipped directly and discreetly to their doorstep. Additionally, support is available for patients through the Shoppers cannabis care centre – a call center staffed by professionals who offer counselling and support for patients. Under current regulations, pharmacists cannot dispense medical cannabis from a pharmacy.
Patients in British Columbia can now obtain their medical document (authorization from a health care practitioner) directly from shoppersdrugmart.ca/cannabis or bring it to their local Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacy to help process the information. Specialized advisors from the Shoppers cannabis care centre will then contact patients, review their medical history and any contraindications with current medications, and provide support with online registration and strain selection.
Education for pharmacists is supported by the Shoppers Drug Mart Medical Advisory Board, a panel of independent medical experts from across the country who provide guidance and advice on new clinical evidence, and have developed clinical algorithms to help the Shoppers cannabis care Advisors select the correct strain based on the prescriber's recommendation.
For patients who do not have access to a healthcare practitioner, Shoppers can connect patients to a licensed physician or nurse practitioner to assess whether a patient is an ideal candidate for medical cannabis. Shoppers can connect patients to healthcare practitioners through an online telemedicine portal or patients can use the Shoppers Clinic Finder at https://cannabis.shoppersdrugmart.ca/medical-document-info
Shoppers has signed supply and quality agreements with 12 cannabis producers to provide a wide variety cannabis brands and medical accessories with the convenience of one medical document.
About Shoppers Drug Mart: Shoppers Drug Mart is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. The company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec). With almost 1,300 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada. The company also licenses or owns 47 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec), and provides cosmetic dermatology services at two standalone locations, the Beauty Clinic. As well, the company owns and operates 43 corporate Wellwise by Shoppers Drug Mart stores and an ecommerce site Wellwise.ca, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services. In addition to its retail store network, the company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and MediSystem Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities. Shoppers Drug Mart is an independent operating division of Loblaw Companies Limited.
i Number and percentage of people reporting non-medical, medical, and both medical and non-medical cannabis use by age group, Canada (provinces only), second and third quarters combined 2019. Statistics Canada, accessible at https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/191030/t002a-eng.htm
ii Data on cannabis for medical purposes - Medical client registrations and applications. Health Canada, accessible at https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/research-data/medical-purpose.html
iii Medical Cannabis Study – Medical Cannabis Users. Canadian Pharmacists Association, Abacus Data, January 2019, accessible at https://www.pharmacists.ca/cpha-ca/assets/File/cpha-on-the-issues/Cannabis%20Survey_Patients-GenPub.pdf