Manulife no longer forcing customers to buy some prescription drugs at Loblaws

In response to mounting public pressure, Manulife Canada announced today a significant update to its services, allowing Canadians supported by Manulife who require specialty medications to fill their prescriptions at any pharmacy of their choice.

This move comes amidst widespread criticism over Manulife’s attempt to institute a policy whereby its customers would have to fill prescriptions at a pharmacy owned by Loblaws Cos. Ltd.

The change, according to Manulife, will be implemented swiftly and updates will be provided on its website.

“Our mission is: ‘Decisions Made Easier. Lives Made Better.’ To fulfill that, we have listened to and are addressing the concerns we have heard over the past week,” stated Naveed Irshad, President and CEO of Manulife Canada, in a press release. “Though this change impacts only a small number of our members, it helps ensure that all Canadians we support have choice, access, and flexibility in managing their health. We are proud to partner with thousands of pharmacies across the country and contribute to a strong and healthy Canadian healthcare system.”

Home delivery will also continue to be an option for those who prefer it.

In addition to widespread criticism from consumers, Manulife’s decision to limit access to medication also caught the eye of Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, who said he was reviewing the arrangement, when asked about the news last week.

“They don’t get the message. We want more competition in this country,” Champagne was reported as saying, on CP24. “We want more options. We want more choices, so that’s not going in the direction we want to see.”

Manulife, which is headquarter in Toronto, has 34 million customers worldwide.

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