Manulife says it’s “swiftly” implementing changes after receiving backlash to its exclusive prescription deal with Loblaw. (The Canadian Press Images/Lars Hagberg, iStock/JHVEPhoto)
Manulife is backtracking on its exclusive prescription deal with Loblaw after concerns.
Last month, the insurance company announced its partnership with Loblaw Companies Ltd. to fill specialty drugs for their patients through Shoppers Drug Mart and other Loblaw-owned pharmacies.
On Monday, the company announced it was backtracking on its deal after receiving backlash.
“We are making an update so that Canadians supported by Manulife who take specialty medications to treat serious, chronic, and often life-threatening conditions will be able to fill their prescriptions at any pharmacy of their choice,” the company said in a statement.
Financial Post reported the program includes around 260 medications that treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Cronhn’s, multiple sclerosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension, cancer, osteoporosis and Hepatitis C.
The Minister of Innovation,Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne also commented on the announcement last month telling reporters, “They don’t get the message. We want more competition in this country, we want more options, we want more choices, so that’s not going the direction that we want to see.”
An online petition was also created to the minister asking him to stop Manulife’s exclusive arrangement with the pharmacy chain. Its goal was 15,000 signatures and it has since garnered over 13,400 signatures since publication.
“Our mission is: ‘Decisions Made Easier. Lives Made Better.’ To fulfill that, we have listened to and are addressing the concerns we have heard over the past week,” Manulife Canada President and CEO Naveed Irshad, said in a statement.
“Though this change impacts only a small number of our members, it helps ensure that all Canadians we support have choices, access, and flexibility in managing their health,” he added.