While medical cannabis is still treated as alternative medicine in many places where it is legal in the world, one South American country is embracing it as a legitimate mainstream treatment.
Under a government order, insurance providers in Colombia must now cover the costs of THC-based medications.
Toronto, Ontario-based medical cannabis company Khiron today announced that the Government of Colombia has added high- and low-THC medical cannabis medicines to its list of mandated coverage medications for all insurance providers.
Medical Cannabis, Colombia, and Khiron
According to Khiron, the change will further solidify its leadership position in the Colombian medical cannabis market.
The company operates in Colombia under a seed-to-sale medical cannabis clinic model.
Khiron CEO Alvaro Torres says the company became Colombia’s first licensed producer to sell medical cannabis through its clinics in March 2020.
According to Torres, the company has experienced double-digit monthly growth, filled more than 57,000 prescriptions, and serviced more than 16,000 individual patients since March 2020.
Torres says Khiron is now a category leader in the Colombian medical cannabis industry.
“Since then, we have worked with insurance companies across the country to include this medication in their administrative systems,” says Torres. “In 2021, 60% of our products were sold through agreements with two major insurance providers. Today, all insurance companies are mandated to cover medical cannabis in Colombia, with less paperwork and hassle for patients.”
Torres says that even though the previous rules were more complicated, insurance coverage made a dramatic difference in Khiron’s results.
Torres says that, as of January 1, 2022, any Colombian patient will be able to get their medical cannabis nearly free of charge, regardless of their insurance company.
According to Torres, Colombia’s unprecedented regulatory framework update will create one of the world’s largest insured medical cannabis markets and help position Khiron as a leading company in the industry.