A recent Early Day Motion (EDM 1410) submitted on July 3, 2023, addressed an important issue related to the prescription of cannabis medications in the UK by the general practitioners. The motion draws attention to the disparity in prescribing privileges between general practitioners and specialists.
General practitioners play an essential part in supporting patients in their communities. However they weren’t permitted to provide cannabis-based medications in 2018. It is crucial that the government act to give general practitioners the same prescribing rights as specialists because only a small percentage of patients receive National Health Service (NHS) prescriptions for medical cannabis.
Medical cannabis situation in the UK
The EDM highlights that only 1,000 individuals have NHS prescriptions, despite the fact that 20,000 patients receive private prescriptions for medical cannabis each year. This June, a Zerenia Clinics’ patient just became the first to receive NHS reimbursement for cannabis flowers and it was a revolutionary event.
This striking gap focuses on the majority of patients who could benefit from medical cannabis’ therapeutic characteristics’ restricted availability through approved channels. As a result, a lot of people buy cannabis for medical purposes on the black market. This not only puts their health and safety at danger, but it also supports an unregulated system without enough medical oversight.
What can be achieved by these cannabis changes?
Discussed option considers the value of patient-centred care and provides patients more treatment possibilities. Patients would have the chance to investigate alternative cannabis treatments with the support from general practitioner. This strategy makes sure that patients get care which corresponds to their individual needs.
The EDM wants to address the issue of patients turning to the illicit market to obtain cannabis for medical reasons. With this modification, patients would have legal access to cannabis medications. It would reduce any risks connected with using unregulated goods. Additionally, it would increase patient and healthcare system trust by promoting transparency and guaranteeing appropriate medical oversight.
The Early Day Motion 1410 highlights the urgent need for relevant cannabis prescribing rights for general practitioners in the UK. Thousands of people use private cannabis prescriptions or turn to the black market. It shows how restricted access to medical cannabis is under the UK laws as they stand. However, there are even more benefits of empowering general practitioners.
Thus, it is vital that the government take the necessary steps to close this gap and support the patients. The fovernment should guarantee that patients can benefit from cannabis medicines while being under the care of reputable practitioners. We can improve patient care, encourage safety, and contribute to the general well being of those in need by doing this.