A Licensed Pharmacist’s Mission in Support of Cannabis: CEO, Elaine Richer, RPh

Cannabis is medicine and should be covered by health insurance, especially CBD and definitely in legal states. There is still an awful war on beautiful plant Cannabis, and it is hurting 3,099,934 people, the number of people with MMJ cards in the United States.

Cannabis is medicine, going back in history 10,000 years. Today: 30+ states have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes, there have been a magnitude of studies all supporting Cannabis having medicinal properties and benefits, the FDA has approved a medication that contains cannabis, and the federal government legalized Cannabis-hemp. So, why isn’t Cannabis covered under health insurance? 

There’s a woman out there, leading a company of licensed medical professionals, on a mission to change this. Not only is the mission to get medical Cannabis covered by health insurance companies, this dynamic team is changing the way dispensaries, patients, and doctors communicate via an impressive app. 

MyCureAll was co-founded and is led by CEO, Elaine Richer RPh. Elaine is a licensed Pharmacist in New Jersey and Florida, and worked in a pharmacy/corporate setting for over 20 years. Her background includes district and regional pharmacy management for multiple fortune 500 companies. 

As one of the amazing women in a male-dominated industry, Elaine how opiates contribute to a broken society through her professional experience and life’s work, and she is on a mission to create change in healthcare. 

Elaine: The Early Years and Facing Adversity 

Elaine was born and spent many years in Minsk, at the time, a part of the Republics of the Soviet Union. A Jewish girl, unable to be herself due to religion not being a part of Soviet culture, learned early on what division and prejudice felt like and looked like: “Being Jewish to me, meant always concealing who I was but not really knowing why. I remember that the Nationality of each of your parents was identified in the grading books that Teachers used daily so, it was pretty difficult to keep a secret.

At age 15, Elaine and her family were allowed to leave the Soviet Union. Both of her parents, her brother, and herself, set off to America with $360 in their pockets: “Our path to religious freedom in the US laid through Austria and Italy, the New York Association for New Americans (NYANA) supported our way through”.

Elaine: The High School and College, The HIV Epidemic

Source: The Sun/UK

A lover of people, Elaine knew early on that her future was in healthcare: “I loved helping people, so I decided to become a Pharmacist”. Elaine attended Sheepshead Bay High School in Brooklyn, New York and went off to attend, and graduate from, Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy, Long Island University, Brooklyn campus. 

Of course, at the time, her program included no education relating to Cannabis or the endocannabinoid system: “In my world, Cannabis was considered to be an illicit drug, like cocaine, and all I knew about it was what I learned from the news, or what I saw and smelled when I went to Greenwich Village with my friends.”

Disgust started to appear during Elaine’s last year in pharmacy school. She was completing an externship at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in New York, New York, during the HIV epidemic: “It was the first time I saw sick people, afflicted with substance use disorder, not being treated like human beings but like junkies. The lack of empathy from some of the healthcare professionals was profound.”

Elaine” The Pharmacy Years, Seeing the Healthcare System

Elaine became a practicing Pharmacist, with the intention to help people. She held roles as Pharmacist, Pharmacy Supervisor, Pharmacy Manager, and District Leader for three major chains in the United States. During this time, she started seeing a trend: “OxyContin was heavily promoted by sales reps and deep discount were given to pharmacy owners on multi-bottle purchases”.

There wasn’t only that, Elaine learned through her husband Jacques, who has been a substance abuse director of different nonprofit 822 clinics in NYC for over a decade, the hardship of someone struggling with substance abuse disorders: “Mandated patients struggling with opioid addiction are forced into stringent SUD/ MAT programs, and if they are not compliant, they can be re-incarcerated or lose custody of their children because of archaic regulations”

Not wanting to be a part of a broken system, Elaine set out on a mission with her partners Slava Malen and Jacques Nir to change the way medical professionals treat people and their medical conditions.

Elaine: Current Day, Co-Founder and CEO

Elaine is a firm believer in the power of medical cannabis to treat many conditions: “the clinical evidence clearly indicates and supports medicinal Cannabis and CBD as a MAT protocol; it will save lives and increase compliance with recovery, and reduce Medicaid expenditures.” And with this passion and proof, MyCureAll was born; a company empowering insurance companies to reimburse for medical cannabis.

Elaine says:

“Recognized as the single most important of 10,000 plants, Cannabis was used to treat glaucoma, inflammation, leprosy, edema, gout, malaria, earaches, diarrhea, vomiting, and migraines. It was even used by Chinese surgeons as a surgical anesthetic. 

As time progressed, Cannabis was used as medicine all over the world for a variety of ailments. I believe that medical research clearly supports its use today. Recent research on opioid use in states with medical cannabis laws suggests that legal access to Cannabis can lead to a decrease in prescription opioid use, as well as reductions in opioid-related harms, including opioid overdose deaths”. 

Elaine: The Future, MyCureAll Being the Communication Glue

This woman boss wakes up every day happy and excited about how she is changing people’s lives for the better. As of June 2019, she left corporate and is now a full-time employee, CEO of MyCureAll: “My last position was in a male-dominated company, a company that cared only about the bottom line, not about its patients or associates. Now, I am making a difference in the lives of my associates and millions of patients”. 

The MyCureAll app launches Jan 2020 and will change the way that care teams communicate with each other, in an effort to truly help medical Cannabis patients. When asked, Elaine had this to say about the launch of the app and what she has learned about launching a Cannabis company:

“MyCureAll provides a platform for targeted cannabis recommendations for strains that treat specific medical conditions and lower healthcare costs. Our app enables patients, physicians, dispensaries, and insurance companies to work hand-in-hand to achieve a natural solution to PTSD, pain, substance use disorder, fibromyalgia, and many other conditions. Additionally, the app designs and generates a treatment plan that produces a statistical reduction in symptomatology (the set of symptoms characteristic of a medical condition or exhibited by a patient).

Start up world is tough. I feel like I am continuously begging for money. I end up wearing many professional hats in a day. I am also forced to learn something new each and every day, things that I would never have thought I’d be learning at this point in my life: programming, marketing, social media, etc.

But it’s all worth it, because my team and I are driven to help improve the complex process of navigating the world of medical Cannabis, and we see the great potential our company has to help people around us”.