Operational Updates

Manulife Financial Makes Drug Care Changes

DrugWatch and Specialty Drug Care Program


Our benefits provider, Manulife, has modified its drug oversight program, DrugWatch, and is also offering a new program, the Specialty Drug Care Program (SDCP) both will be in effect January 1, 2018.

We can assure you that your current drug coverage and prescriptions are not affected. You will continue to have access to over 12,000 different prescribed uses for drugs covered under your plan and the same existing exclusions and limitations will continue to apply.

What is Drug Watch?

DrugWatch is a drug oversight program that monitors the drug landscape to ensure your drug plan continues to offer full value for prescription drugs and to ensure the long term sustainability of the plan for all employees.

DrugWatch involves a third party review by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) of new drugs that come to market after having been approved by Health Canada. Manulife and other providers, including some of the provincial drug programs rely on such reviews to ensure a reasonable therapeutic advantage warrants the cost of the new drug coming to market.

Such a review does take time and certain new drugs may not be covered by the plan right away, if at all, depending on the outcomes of the CADTH review in conjunction with Manulife’s program standard.

We simply want you to be aware of this feature as some physicians may opt to prescribe a new drug shortly after being released to market and you may not yet have coverage for such drug.

Manulife will be aware of new drugs approved by Health Canada and is committed to sharing that information with us going forward so we know the drugs under review by CADTH. As always, we encourage you to have an open dialogue with your physician about the details of your plan coverage in order for them to prescribe accordingly. We also encourage you to contact Manulife to find out if a prescribed drug will be covered.

In order to find out if your prescribed drug is covered please obtain the DIN (drug identification number) from your pharmacist and then call Manulife’s dedicated post-secondary service line at 1-800-575-2200. Enter in Selkirk College’s extended health plan 83247. Once connected to a service representative you can quote the DIN number and the representative will be able to advise you of coverage.

What is the Specialty Drug Care Program? (SDCP)

Specialty drugs are high cost (over $600 per month) drugs used to treat complex chronic and/or life threatening conditions. They require special storage, handling and administration (e.g. infusion or injection) and may involve a significant degree of patient education, monitoring and management. The SDCP is a voluntary support program which offers preferred pricing; drug delivery to your home, clinic or physician’s office; and nurse case management (disease management, health coaching, coordinating testing and appointments, advocating and renewal reminders).

The Member Experience...

Again, this program is offered on a voluntary basis.

While the SDCP is usually applied to new prescriptions, employees who are already using a drug covered under the program can opt to access the SDCP by contacting Manulife.

More information is available at https://www.manulife.ca and through the Manulife mobile app available at the App Store and Google Play or through Manulife’s customer service number at 1-800-268-6195.