The Globe and Mail reports in its Friday edition that Canadian insurers are seeing signs of success in opioid intervention programs that aim to reduce the amount of medication being dispensed to patients.
The Globe's Clare O'Hara writes that after launching a program last spring, Manulife Financial has intervened on 2,280 prescriptions for opioids that were written for an average 17-days supply between the months of April and July.
By limiting the number of days that could be claimed at a single time, the program was able to cut the amount of medication being dispensed by 10 days.
With the rising number of overdoses and deaths caused by opioids, Ottawa declared the opioid crisis a public-health emergency, estimating there have been almost 13,000 apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada since 2016.
Manulife's opioid management program was introduced for group benefit drug plans in April.
Manulife expects to reduce costs for "unnecessary claims" by about $300,000 in the first year. Over the past decade, Sun Life Financial has introduced several processes to manage the misuse of opioids in its group benefits business. One example is putting a cap on the dollar amount each patient can claim for select drugs.
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