Patients to benefit from cannabis-derived medicinal products

New regulations laid in Parliament

Today the Home Office announced that from November 1 cannabis-derived medicinal products will move from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 to allow clinicians on the GMC specialist register to prescribe them. 

President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Ash Soni said:

“This news will be welcomed by many patients with a range of serious health conditions.  The prospect of a future where safe and effective licensed cannabis-based medicines can be prescribed to help relieve suffering is genuinely exciting.  

“Robust governance needs to be in place around prescribing and dispensing and pharmacists have a key role to play in ensuring this is in place across health systems.  As with any changes to pharmacy practice we will support the profession in navigating the new legislation. We will work with the NHS to help and  support specialists in and making the right prescribing decisions.”

“Pharmacists will be on the frontline of supplying these cannabis based medicinal  products and can give advice to patients on how to take them as part of their treatment plan.  

“Moving cannabis-based medicinal products from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001  will now make it easier for research into these products to take place.  

Over 89% of RPS members responding to a survey agreed that cannabis should be rescheduled to allow research to take place when surveyed earlier this year. 

The three national pharmacy boards of the RPS also signed a policy statement supporting the rescheduling of cannabis to Schedule 2, which was submitted to the Home Office for consideration in June 2018.