Khiron secures first cannabis insurance contract in Colombia

Home » Khiron secures first cannabis insurance contract in Colombia

Khiron´s wholly-owned medical cannabis clinic network, Zerenia, has signed a contract with Capital Salud Eps, Colombia’s largest public insurance company, under which Zerenia will provide medical cannabis services and products to its patient population, directly reimbursed by Capital.

Capital Salud is owned by the City of Bogota and insures more than 1.2 million people in and around the city, including more than 280,000 active patients with chronic conditions including pain, epilepsy, and mental health.

Zerenia has already begun treating the first cohort of Capital Salud’s patients with medical cannabis.

Read more: Colombian President suggests cultivation of cannabis without licences

In 2022, the Bogota City Council and the Bogota Mayor’s office launched a first-of-its-kind initiative with the purpose of establishing the city as a research, production, and commercialisation hub for medical cannabis for Colombia and Latin America.

As part of this initiative, Capital Salud – which is wholly owned by the City of Bogota – has signed a contract with Zerenia to provide “Integrative Health Services and Pharmacotherapeutic Treatment with Medical Cannabis” to its patient population.

City councilman Juan Baena, who spearheaded the initiative commented: “This agreement by Capital Salud Eps seeks the materialisation of Agreement 831 that we promoted at the Bogota City Council, with the objective of making Bogota the medical cannabis hub of the country.”

Under the contract with Capital Salud, Zerenia will provide integrative health services and medical cannabis products to patients diagnosed with chronic pain, mental health, neurological conditions, and epilepsy, amongst others.

Alvaro Torres, CEO of Khiron, comments: “The city of Bogota has embraced medical cannabis as a catalyst for social and economic growth.

“We are honoured that Zerenia was selected by Capital Salud  to provide medical cannabis services and products to their patients.

“Over the past two years, Zerenia has invested in expanding its clinic locations across the city, generating proprietary scientific evidence on the benefits of medical cannabis, and delivering superior patient service quality to become the leaders in medical cannabis in Colombia, Latin America and Europe.

“We are thankful for the confidence placed by Capital Salud on Zerenia, and with an installed capacity of over 300,000 annual consultations, we are more than prepared to service their patient base.

“We are convinced that we have created a unique medical cannabis platform that other insurance companies in Colombia and abroad will want to offer to their patients to improve their quality of life.”

The development follows Colombia’s Ministry of Health introduction of Resolution 2808 of 2022 on December 30, 2022, which reaffirmed the inclusion of plant-based medical cannabis products in the mandatory insurance coverage system.

Starting 1 January, 2023, every insurance provider in Colombia is mandated to cover the costs of medical cannabis prescriptions for patients.

Khiron has stated that during the first half of 2022, insurance-covered prescriptions represented more than 90% of the company’s cannabis sales in Colombia.

At the time of Colombia’s announcement, Torres stated: “Today is a great day for patients in Colombia and Khiron. We welcome the decision from the new Colombian government to categorically mandate insurance coverage for our medical cannabis products.

“With this decision, Khiron will immediately tackle the backlog of covered medical cannabis products to our patients. In parallel, we have also secured a first-of-its-kind contractual relationship with one of Colombia´s largest government-owned insurance companies for medical cannabis-specific healthcare services and dispensation.

“These two achievements, will allow us to revert to predictable recurring revenues, shorter collection periods and improved cashflow.”

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