Intended for healthcare professionals


Medical cannabis: “restrictive” guidance lets patients down, say campaigners

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 01 November 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4654
  1. Richard Hurley
  1. BMJ

GPs have been advised not to prescribe unlicensed drugs containing naturally occurring cannabinoids but to refer patients at “the appropriate point in their treatment pathway” to specialists registered with the General Medical Council.

The guidance from NHS England advises that patients should not approach GPs to ask for these products.1

Very few patients are expected to benefit from the change in the law that comes into force on 1 November,2 experts have warned. Many patients will continue to take cannabis illegally to manage symptoms, risking criminalisation, they said.

The move to change medicinal products derived from cannabis to schedule 2 of the 2001 Misuse of Drugs Regulations came after advice from England’s chief medical officer, Sally Davies, and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, after several recent cases of children …

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