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Cannabis based drugs: GPs will have to manage patients’ expectations, says expert

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k4354 (Published 16 October 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4354
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

GPs could be inundated with requests for cannabis derived medicines next month without the resources to properly advise patients, an expert has warned.

Ian Hamilton, a lecturer in addiction at the University of York, has welcomed the announcement by the UK home secretary, Sajid Javid, that specialist doctors in England, Wales, and Scotland will be able to prescribe cannabis based products for medicinal use from 1 November.1 But he warned that patients could face lengthy waits for treatment because of the “considerable” demand that the move could create.

“It potentially gives a lot of patients false hope that this is going to be a relatively smooth and easy process. It’s going to be quite protracted: you’ve got to see your GP, and they have to make a referral to a specialist. Whether you’re in primary or secondary care, the last thing you want is additional demand, but that is what it’s going …

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