Enhancing our Opioid Management Program

April 7, 2022

For business owners, plan administrators, and sponsors

Our Opioid Management Program (OMP) has been very successful in helping members avoid opioid overuse since we launched the program in April 2019.

For new claimants, the initial days’ supply of short-acting opioids has been reduced by more than 50% – and over 90% didn’t go back to the pharmacy for an additional fill. This is a huge reduction in opioids being  dispensed at the pharmacy – which helps reduce the risk for plan members.1

And when we help more members stay healthy, we can help support healthier organizations.

What’s new?

On April 18, 2022, Manulife is introducing some enhancements to the program - focused on high-risk opioid use:

  • New potency tracking to flag risks: Opioids have widely differing potencies ranging from codeine (limited potency) to fentanyl (high potency) – this can be measured through Morphine Milligram Equivalents (MME). MME tracking allows us to look at all opioids a member is taking and consider the potency and risk of adverse events.
  • Identifying higher risk at time of claim: Ability to identify more high-risk claims – including MME of over 200 mg; MME of over 90 mg for new claimants; concurrent use of opioids and benzodiazepines; and duplicate long-active opioid therapies.
  • Empowering pharmacists to intervene: By identifying more potentially high-risk claims, we help pharmacists intervene in determining their therapeutic appropriateness. Pharmacists can use their professional judgement to proceed with filling the prescription if appropriate for their patient. These additional warnings empower pharmacists and allow them to have important conversations with  their patients.

These additional features greatly strengthen the OMP by adding safety controls around high-dose opioid users – which supplements the controls we have in place for new opioid users.

Developed in collaboration with Express Scripts Canada®, the OMP is a great example of how sponsors can support health by design in their organization – helping more members stay on a healthy journey and avoid the risks presented by opioids. These enhancements will help our program become even more effective.

You can find more details about the program on our Opioid Management Program page.

If you have any questions about our Opioid Management Program, please contact your Manulife representative.


1 Manulife Plan Data, 2020

Group Benefit products and services are offered by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife). Manulife and Stylized M Design are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and are used by it, and by its affiliates under license. © 2022 The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. All rights reserved. Manulife, PO Box 2580, STN B Montreal QC H3B 5C6.