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How Towergate Insurance is supporting the medical cannabis sector

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Home » How Towergate Insurance is supporting the medical cannabis sector

Towergate Insurance’s, Haydn Dodds-Jones, explains how the firm is helping to support UK doctors in the medical cannabis sector.

Having looked after clients in the medical sector for over 100 years, Towergate Insurance is now helping to break down barriers and improve affordability in the cannabis industry by enabling more doctors to prescribe legally.

The firm’s head of corporate medical, Haydn Dodds-Jones, explains how.

Can you give us an introduction to Towergate Insurance and your role within the UK medical cannabis sector? 

Towergate Insurance is a trading style of Towergate Underwriting Group Ltd, part of the Ardonagh Group which is one of the largest independent insurance intermediaries in the UK. It has been looking after clients in the medical sector for over 100 years.

As members of the Cannabis Industry Council we share the drive, and goal, of improving access and affordability in this area. 

And what about your personal background?

I have worked in the medical insurance sector for nine years, and started my journey with Towergate. I work with medical businesses and individuals, across a range of specialisms, nationally and worldwide. I have learnt so much about the benefits of Medical Cannabis since being involved in supporting practitioners and businesses with their insurances, and am proud to support the industry.

Why do medical cannabis clinicians need to take out insurance? Is this different to how it works in the NHS?

Practitioners working for, and on behalf of, the NHS are indemnified to prescribe cannabis; unfortunately, there have been very few prescriptions issued via the NHS. Fortunately, there are now a number of private clinics operating in this space, and doctors and clinicians working outside of the NHS must maintain their own indemnity. We have specialist solutions at both entity, and individual levels. 

What are some of the challenges that come with this? Can this sometimes be a barrier to prescribing? 

The challenges are cost, and the fact that cannabis as a medical treatment is still not widely understood by many insurers, and medical defence organisations. This does limit options and affordability. However, through our practitioner scheme and insurer lobbying, we are proud to be helping lower these barriers.

Tell us about your partnership with The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society (MCCS)?

We have been working with the MCCS for a couple of years now through our joint ambition to improve access to cannabis as a medical treatment. This relationship, together with insurer engagement, has enabled us to offer practitioner members indemnity cover at below standard cost. We are proud of our partnership with MCCS, of the work that it does, and the fantastic job of educating, raising awareness and lobbying that it does.

How does this make prescribing more viable for doctors? 

We can offer doctors indemnity cover at a lower cost which makes it more financially viable for them, as high indemnity costs can be a major barrier to prescribing cannabis. 

Do you also work with UK cannabis clinics?

Yes, we work with a number of clinics in the UK, Channel Islands, and worldwide. 

Why is it important to you to play a role in making these medicines as accessible as possible?

The benefits of medicinal cannabis in relieving symptoms in patients of any age, across a range of conditions, can be extraordinary and help improve their quality of life; ethically, it is a wonderful sector in which to be involved. 

You are members of the recently-formed Cannabis Industry Council, what do you hope to see change in the UK moving forward? 

The council was formed to help bring the sector together and I think we are already seeing the resulting benefits. Members share the same passion of improving access and helping to improve the quality of patients’ lives.  I think we are going to help make a real difference in achieving affordability, and access via the NHS remains a major goal. 

How can people find out more about you? 

I’m always happy to talk to anyone working in, or considering working in, the sector. 

My contact details are as follows:

Haydn Dodds-Jones, Business Development Executive – Medical

Mobile: 07816 248142

Email: Haydn.Dodds-Jones@Towergate.Co.Uk

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/haydndodds/

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