Engaging Health Professionals

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Engaging Health Professionals

The innovative strategies that medical cannabis companies are using to educate healthcare providers about medical cannabis in general or their own brand, apart from the usual tactic of having sales representatives visit the office of the healthcare provider, include launching an education and certification platform, hosting educational events, hosting educational booths, partnering with a continuing medical education (CME) provider, and publishing dedicated resources and evidence-based research on own website.

LAUNCHING OWN EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATION PLATFORM

  • Aleafia Health, the company behind the medical cannabis brand Emblem, recently launched FoliEdge Academy, an education and certification platform that offers evidence-based courses tailored to healthcare providers, insurance providers, educational institutions, employers, and unions. Courses are both proprietary and interactive; they leverage Aleafia Health's huge dataset, which has 10 million medical cannabis data points to date.
  • The platform was developed with the help of D2L, a world-class online learning company.
  • Leading the curation of course content is Aleafia Health's chief medical officer, Dr. Michael Verbora, who draws upon his cannabinoid therapy expertise and his extensive experience working with patients.
  • This example was included because Aleafia Health says that with its launch of FoliEdge Academy, it sets the bar for cannabis education. Through FoliEdge Academy, Aleafia Health has the ability to reach more healthcare providers.

HOSTING EDUCATIONAL EVENTS

  • Franklin Bioscience, the company behind the medical cannabis brand Altus, partnered with physicians from the Rothman Institute to organize a string of education events. This education event series was organized to increase awareness of medical cannabis among academia, healthcare providers, community leaders, public officials, and patients in Pennsylvania.
  • The first event was a symposium entitled "The Future is Now: Medical Cannabis Reception," whose purpose was to facilitate medical research and clinical studies and inform healthcare providers and other stakeholders about the latest medical cannabis program the Rothman Institute and Franklin Bioscience were working on. Attendees of the educational events learned about medical research, qualifying conditions, continuing medical education (CME), and requirements for state certification.
  • This example was included because is the only company we could find that has held an educational event series. Hosting educational events is a way of creating brand awareness.

HOSTING EDUCATIONAL BOOTHS

  • GW Pharmaceuticals, the company behind the medical cannabis brand Epidiolex, hosted two exhibit booths at the 2019 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting. One booth featured Epidiolex, while the other booth, Cannabinoid Clinical, featured cannabinoid science for clinicians.
  • The Epidiolex booth offered a virtual reality experience, which gave visitors the chance to tour GW Pharmaceuticals' facilities and understand the processes involved in the production of Epidiolex.
  • This example was included because an emerging technology, virtual reality, was used to capture the attention of healthcare providers.

PARTNERING WITH A CME PROVIDER

  • Canopy Growth, the company behind the medical cannabis brand Spectrum Therapeutics, partnered with the College of Family Physicians of Canada to offer Mainpro-M1, an accredited CME program developed by the college. Doctors can enroll in this program to learn about the benefits and proper prescription of medical marijuana and earn CME credits.
  • Amanda Daley, vice president of medical sales and education, oversees the company's commercial medical strategy, medical sales team, and development of CME programs. She explains that the company has a separate team handling medical field sales and a separate team handling CME.
  • This example was included because Canopy Growth was one of the first few medical cannabis companies to offer the program. The program has the ability to widen Canopy Growth's reach, especially among healthcare providers seeking CME.

PUBLISHING DEDICATED RESOURCES OR RESEARCH ON WEBSITE

  • Aphria, which has a wide range of medical cannabis products, has resources on its website that were developed or published specifically for healthcare professionals. These resources include guidelines and regulations from authorities overseeing the industry, a fact sheet for the proper prescription of medical cannabis, and an illustrative guide informing healthcare professionals of the differences between cannabis oil and dried cannabis.
  • MedReleaf, which has a broad selection of medical-grade cannabis products as well, has a page on its website dedicated to its research publications. The company showcases or highlights these research publications because it knows that "healthcare providers depend on evidence to draw medical conclusions."
  • These examples were included because most of the medical cannabis company websites we examined do not have these resources. Through resources such as those published by Aphria and MedReleaf, medical cannabis companies can widen their reach, particularly among healthcare providers seeking guidelines, resources, and evidence-based research.
Sources
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Quotes
  • "Aleafia Health Inc. has launched FoliEdge Academy, a cloud-based cannabis education and certifications platform. FoliEdge Academy features proprietary, interactive courses customized for large organizations including public and private sector employers, unions, insurance & healthcare providers, and educational institutions."
Quotes
  • "Physicians from Rothman Institute and Franklin BioScience co-hosted a series of educational events to broaden awareness of Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis program among health care providers, academia, elected officials, community leaders and patients. The groups also provided an opportunity for health care professionals to learn about qualifying conditions, medical research, state-certification requirements and continuing medical education."
Quotes
  • "Canopy Growth was one of the first Canadian cannabis companies to offer Mainpro-M1 accredited continuing medical education programs to Canadian doctors across the country. Mainpro-M1 is offered by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and educates Canadian doctors about medical marijuana and its various benefits while providing up-to-date information on how to properly prescribe medicinal cannabis. Canadian doctors earn Mainpro-1 credits when they participate in a variety of structured learning programs."
Quotes
  • "Ensuring that we have content that is presented in a variety of both academic and community environments is key."
  • "Simplification is also resonating with doctors, as medical cannabis is complex. "
  • "Something that has also helped raise doctors’ comfort level with medical cannabis is patients’ lived experience—the fact that it is having a meaningful impact on their health and wellness. "