30 Jun A Quick, Easy Guide to The New UK Arrangements For Access To Cannabis As Medicine.
There’s already an awful lot of misunderstanding over the arrangements just introduced for medicinal cannabis and there’s no need for it because, to be fair, the government has been very clear.
There is an interim procedure which will be very, very difficult for most to achieve. You must have very strong support from your doctor and they, together with your local NHS Trust, must be prepared to put in a lot of work, form-filling and pay some substantial licensing fees. It’s all explained here. If you don’t understand it, don’t worry. Your doctor will and it’s only if he/she is prepared to pursue this path for you that you have any chance at all.
There also seems to be an idea that there’s a list of conditions for which cannabis will be available. There’s no truth in this at all. It’s up to your doctor and if they pursue this interim procedure, they will have to make the case why cannabis will work for you.
For most people, you are going have to wait until the autumn when, according to Home Office minister Nick Hurd MP, cannabis will be re-scheduled and available on prescription from your GP. It will then be up to you to persuade your doctor. The biggest problem is likely to be that most doctors simply have no understanding of cannabis at all. Now would be a good time to start gathering together all the scientific evidence you can find about using cannabis to treat your condition(s).
Something is going to have to be done about introducing some training for doctors. Since December 2017, the Royal College of GPs has had a set of guidelines ready to issue to doctors but it’s been sitting on them. These were authored by CLEAR, clinical information by Professor Mike Barnes with methods of use and harm reduction information by Peter Reynolds. We are urging the Royal College to make these available to doctors immediately.
Initially the products available are likely to be the Bedrocan range but we expect some of the Canadian companies will quickly make products available. We also expect NICE to re-visit Sativex and reassess its cost-effectiveness. It must be time for some hard negotiation over the price. This is an opportunity for GW Pharma and Bayer to make a significant reduction which would be in their own long term interest.