Why should medical marijuana be covered by insurance?
By Karen Berger, PharmD, Medical Writer
Recently, NJMMP patients have been talking about the unaffordable price of medical marijuana. Despite the incredible amount of relief it brings, patients in the program are struggling to be able to afford this natural pain relief.
Some have turned to the “black market,” buying it on the streets as opposed to a dispensary. Others are forced to work several jobs, sacrificing family time. And others are forced to go back to opioids, the very medication that they were once trying to get away from.
How can we make medical marijuana more affordable? Patients can get a 30-day supply of oxycodone for a $10 copay, yet would have to pay hundreds of dollars every month at a dispensary for medical marijuana.
According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, 130 people die EVERY DAY in this country due to opioid overdose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the cost of prescription opioid misuse in the USA is $78.5 billion yearly. This includes the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.
If 130 people die every day, that’s 47,450 people dying every year due to opioids. Now, how many people die every year due to marijuana? That number is hard to find. Why? According to an article in Healthline, “It is well-established in the world medical literature that cannabis is incapable of causing death by lethal overdose,” said Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). He continues to say that, looking at studies, “There are no cases of fatal cannabis poisoning in the human medical literature.”
So here we have “inexpensive” opioids that end up costing a fortune and can be potentially very dangerous and cause deaths, and on the other hand we have marijuana, which does not kill people, but is not affordable for those who need it. At MyCureAll, we are working with insurance companies to try to get medical marijuana covered by insurance so our patients can live long, healthy, productive lives.