In an Australian first, private health insurer Health Insurance Fund of Australia (HIF) has formed a strategic partnership with Little Green Pharma (LGP) to improve patient access to medicinal cannabis.

Under the arrangement, HIF will pay rebates for medicinal cannabis with eligible members receiving up to A$105 back per script.

On its website, HIF says the maximum rebate will be $80 per script, with an extra $25 available for LGP products until June 2022. Annual limits apply.

HIF and LGP will also partner to support future research into the role medicinal cannabis can play in improving patient quality of life, with eligible HIF members entitled to priority participation.

It is the first time a major Australian health fund has publicly declared its support for access to medicinal cannabis treatments and the potential benefits it can have on the lives of patients suffering from numerous debilitating health conditions.

The partnership reflects increasing community interest and scientific evidence supporting medicinal cannabis as a significant treatment option.

Above: chronic migraine sufferer Rachel Crowther talks about her experience with medicinal cannabis.

HIF CEO Justin James said supporting medicinal cannabis and partnering with LGP aligned with the company’s goal to provide new, alternative treatment choices to its members.

“We are exceptionally pleased to be the first Australian health fund to publicly declare our support for medicinal cannabis treatments and provide our members with rebates on these products.

“As a member-based health fund, our community is the motivation for everything we do, so assisting members through treatment options that can dramatically improve quality of life across different life stages is a key focus.”

James said HIF was also keen to pursue research into the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis with LGP as soon as possible.

“Global research is showing promise, so we look forward to supporting more research being undertaken on local soil,” he added.

LGP managing director Fleta Solomon said: “Our company has always had Australian patient access at the forefront. We were the first company in Australia to launch with locally grown and affordable medicinal cannabis products.

“Our disruptive pricing strategy led to the cost of medicinal cannabis products being significantly reduced in price nationally.

“We are proud to further contribute to driving improved affordability and our partnership with HIF, another patient-focused company, will mean better access to medicinal cannabis products for patients across Australia.”

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...

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