TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart (SDM) recently launched its online platform for the sale of medical cannabis, providing patients with a single, trusted source for all their cannabis therapy needs. The launch brings together Canada’s current e-commerce model for medical cannabis with the expert advice and counsel from trusted health care professionals.
“As trusted medication experts, pharmacists have an important role to play in the safe and informed use of medical cannabis. This announcement is a leap forward for those looking for professional oversight and trusted support in this area,” said SDM president Jeff Leger.
“Medical cannabis, like any prescribed medication, requires the same level of counsel from a health care professional. As medical cannabis is increasingly prescribed to Canadians for its therapeutic benefits, our goal is to enhance the service and support that patients receive through this process.”
At www.shoppersdrugmart.ca/cannabis patients have access to a number of products from Canadian licensed producers, shipped directly and discreetly to their doorstep. Additionally, SDM will provide support for patients through its newly created Shoppers Cannabis Care Centre — a virtual team of professionals who can provide counselling and support for patients. Under current regulations, pharmacists cannot dispense medical cannabis from a pharmacy.
During the initial launch, patients in Ontario can bring their medical document (which is similar to a prescription) to a local SDM pharmacy to process the information. Then, specialized advisors from the Shoppers Cannabis Care Centre will contact patients, review their medical history and any contraindications based on current medications, and provide support with online registration and strain selection.
“For people living with chronic health conditions, like arthritis, the advice of a health professional and access to trusted guidance is invaluable when considering the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes,” says Janet Yale, president and chief executive officer of the Arthritis Society.
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 company’s Cannabis Care advisors select the correct strain for treatment based on the prescriber’s recommendation.
SDM has signed supply and quality agreements with 10 licensed producers and will provide products and medical accessories.