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Cannabis-derived medicines now available on prescription

Pharmacies may be required to dispense cannabis-derived medicines prescribed by “specialist doctors” from today (November 1).

The rescheduling of cannabis-derived medicinal products from schedule 1 to schedule 2 under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 was laid before parliament last month (October 11).

Doctors on the General Medical Council’s specialist register – such as paediatricians and neurologists – will be able to issue prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines, home secretary Sajid Javid confirmed at the time.

GPs will not be able to prescribe these medicines, the Home Office stressed.

PSNC: Pharmacy teams should be aware of changes

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said pharmacy teams should be aware NHS prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines may be presented at their pharmacies.

“The law will not limit the types of conditions that can be considered for treatment, but pharmacy teams should note that the home secretary has said that the penalties for unauthorised supply and possession remain unchanged,” PSNC said.

RPS: “Great step forward”

Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) president Ash Soni said the rescheduling is a “great step forward for patients whose conditions will be improved by better access to cannabis-based medicinal products”.

“The move will also make it easier for research into these products to take place,” he added.

Read NHS England's guidance to clinicians about the medical use of these products here.

How do you feel about dispensing cannabis-based products to patients?

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