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    Friday, 27 July 2018 16:08
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    Friday, 27 July 2018 15:58
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Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
More inWhite Papers  

a cannibis leaf imageJuly 27 2018

Certain cannabis-derived products will be reclassified as Class 2 medicinal products, the Home Secretary has announced.

It means cannabis products could be being prescribed by the autumn, although the Home Office announcement said this would be by “specialist clinicians” and only for “patients with an exceptional clinical need.” 

In addition, it emphasised: “The government is clear that today’s announcement does not pave the way towards legalising cannabis for recreational use. The penalties for unauthorised supply and possession will remain unchanged.”

Sajid Javid has acted upon the advice he received from the two-part review conducted by the Chief Medical Officer and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drug in June. 

The CMO, Professor Dame Sally Davies, concluded that there is evidence that medicinal cannabis has therapeutic benefits. The ACMD considered the appropriate schedule for cannabis-derived medicinal products, based on the balance of harms and public health requirements.

Now that the reclassification of cannabis products has been given the go-ahead, the Department for Health and Social Care and the Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency will “develop a clear definition of what constitutes a cannabis-derived medicinal product so they can be rescheduled and prescribed.

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

The Home Office has said that “in the meantime, clinicians will still be able to apply to the independent expert panel on behalf of patients wishing to access these products.” Licence fees for applications will be waived.

Links:
Home Office announcement     
Today’s Pharmacist coverage of the two-part review      

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