Medical Cannabis Products Now Covered By Government-Funded Health Insurance In Colombia
In 2022 Colombia’s Health Ministry approved the expansion of health insurance coverage of certain medical procedures and medications, including expansion to cover some medical cannabis products. The effective date for the expanded coverage was January 1, 2023.
While it never seemed to be in doubt that the medical cannabis insurance coverage would ultimately take effect, it was reassuring to see that the new coverage was indeed implemented, with reassurances provided by the Health Ministry.
News of the reassurances came via a press release from Khiron Life Sciences Corp late this week. Below are excerpts from the press release:
Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (“Khiron” or the “Company”) (TSXV: KHRN) (OTCQX: KHRNF) (Frankfurt: A2JMZC), announces that the new Colombian Government has included plant-based medical cannabis products (i.e., Khiron products) in the list of mandatory insurance-covered medications starting January 1st, 2023, as well as the signing of a first-of-its-kind medical cannabis contract with one of Colombia´s largest insurance companies based in the city of Bogota.
Resolution 2808 of 2022 was signed by the Ministry of Health on December 30, 2022. This revision was necessary to remove unintended ambiguities that had arisen whether plant-based magistral preparations from medical cannabis (i.e., Khiron products) were also included in the insurance coverage. This is now once and for all clearly confirmed. The new government is fully committed with the use of medical cannabis as a covered treatment under the Colombian health system.
The Government used this iteration to also validate medical conditions where they find moderate to strong evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment. These medical conditions evaluated by the IETS (Technical Institute of the health Sector) include chronic and neuropathic pain, oncology pain, sleep disorders, epilepsy, and fibromyalgia, which represent the primary conditions treated with Khiron products.
During the first half of 2022, insurance-covered prescriptions represented more than 90% of the Company´s cannabis sales in Colombia. With a patient base of more than 25,000 patients, Khiron will immediately resume filling insurance-covered prescriptions through its Zerenia clinic network.
Alvaro Torres, CEO of Khiron, comments: “Today is a great day for patients in Colombia and Khiron. We welcome the decision from the new Colombian government to categorically mandate insurance coverage for our medical cannabis products. With this decision, Khiron will immediately tackle the backlog of covered medical cannabis products to our patients. In parallel, we have also secured a first-of-its-kind contractual relationship with one of Colombia´s largest government-owned insurance companies for medical cannabis specific healthcare services and dispensation. These two achievements, will allow us to revert to predictable recurring revenues, shorter collection periods and improved cashflow.”