Medicinal cannabis-based products to be made available on prescription

medicinal cannabis

Home secretary, Sajid Javid has announced that medicinal products that derive from cannabis will be made available on prescription by Autumn

The Home Secretary decided to reschedule these products after receiving advice from experts during the two-part review he commissioned on June 19.

Senior clinicians will be able to prescribe the medicines to patients with an exceptional medical requirement.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will now develop a clear definition of what constitutes a cannabis-derived medicinal product so they can be rescheduled and prescribed.

Only products meeting this strict definition will be rescheduled. Other forms of cannabis will be kept under strict controls and will not be available on prescription.

The Home Secretary also confirmed today that all licence fees for applications made to the panel will be waived, and no fees will be charged in respect of applications which have already been granted.

Despite the renewed view on cannabis-based products for medicinal use, the government is certain that this will not alter attitudes towards legalising cannabis for recreational use and the penalties currently in place will remain unchanged.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Recent cases involving sick children made it clear to me that our position on cannabis-based medicinal products was not satisfactory.

“That is why we launched a review and set up an expert panel to advise on licence applications in exceptional circumstances.

“Following advice from two sets of independent advisers, I have taken the decision to reschedule cannabis-derived medicinal products – meaning they will be available on prescription.

“This will help patients with an exceptional clinical need, but is in no way a first step to the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use.”

In a review commissioned by the Home Secretary, the Chief Medical Advisor, Professor Dame Sally Davies, concluded that there is evidence towards medicinal cannabis providing therapeutic benefits.

Carrying out the second part of the review, The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) considered the appropriate schedule for cannabis-based medicinal products, based on the balance of harms and public health requirements.

 

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