Avant-garde Proposal to Empower GPs with Cannabis Prescriptions: A Game-Changer from CIC

by – Oshin Pramasanti – Published November 10, 2023

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Pushing boundaries to revolutionise health care, the Cannabis Industry Council (CIC) has just released a draft Bill set to break new ground. This visionary proposal seeks to authorise general medical practitioners (GPs) to dish out prescriptions for cannabis medicines.

The Proposal

The CIC constructed a direct approach to making this a reality through three fluid amendments to section 4 of The Misuse of Drugs (Amendments) (Cannabis and Licence Fees) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2018. These amendments aim to place GPs on the same legal footing as their specialist counterparts in terms of prescribing authority. The Bill is designed to function as primary legislation, but could also be enacted through secondary legislation with subtle wordings shifts.

Potential Benefits

Potential benefits include a significant reduction in burgeoning NHS waiting lists, a decrease in opioid dependency, and crime-related impact.

Expert Opinions

Fueling the dialogue on this exciting development, Dr Sunil Arora, Co-Chair of the CIC Prescription Cannabis Working Group, weighed in. He highlighted the inextricable link between increasing NHS waiting lists (now exceeding seven million) and the pivotal role cannabis medicines can play as a solution. Arora notes, “Almost one-third of adults grapple with chronic pain, representing a significant portion of those on the waiting list. Cannabis medicines have shown substantial efficacy in managing these conditions.”

CIC’s Steps and International Case Studies

These innovative steps by the CIC, including initiating the ‘Protect our Patients’ campaign and launching an insightful report titled ‘Why GPs should be able to prescribe cannabis medicines,’ are drawing extensive attention. This report, already in circulation within the Houses of Parliament, explores international case studies of successful prescription by GPs in Germany, Australia and Denmark. Success stories include improved patient access and outcomes, particularly among women and senior citizens.

Far-reaching Benefits

The far-reaching benefits extend to potential decreases in NHS waiting lists, reduced opioid dependency, and crime reduction. A copy of the report has already landed in Treasury hands, foreshadowing vital discussions in the anticipated Autumn Statement.

Current Prescription Statistics and Support for the Bill

Astonishingly, annual NHS cannabis prescriptions currently extend to a mere 1,000 patients, with around 20,000 additional prescriptions emanating from private clinics. As the clamour increases for the adoption of the draft Bill, it has already gained support from more than 12 MPs across diverse political landscapes via EDM 1410.

What BRITISH CANNABIS has to say:

British Cannabis applauds this transformative attempt by the CIC to shake up the status quo. We believe steps such as these that facilitate improved patient accessibility and wellbeing, while also potentially easing the heavy burden on our health service, can only result in positive system changes. We look forward to witnessing the pivotal discussions and developments in the weeks to come.

Key Takeaways

  • The CIC constructed a direct approach to making this a reality through three fluid amendments to section 4 of The Misuse of Drugs (Amendments) (Cannabis and Licence Fees) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2018.
  • These amendments aim to place GPs on the same legal footing as their specialist counterparts in terms of prescribing authority.
  • The Bill is designed to function as primary legislation, but could also be enacted through secondary legislation with subtle wordings shifts.
  • Potential benefits include a significant reduction in burgeoning NHS waiting lists, a decrease in opioid dependency, and crime-related impact

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