Why is UK not embracing the benefits of medical cannabis? – Industry Global News 24

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The UK is yet to catch up with other countries in order to embrace the use of medical cannabis for treatment of ailments. Cannabis has been accepted and is gaining popularity in countries such as Australia and Canada, where it is used as a non-toxic, non-physiologically addictive alternative for powerful pharmaceutical drugs.

In the UK however, reports suggest, only 18 NHS prescriptions have been issued and 104 private prescriptions have been written, owning to government’s extraordinarily restrictive criteria for patient access.

Furthermore, patients who managed to obtain NHS prescriptions, among which were children with potentially lethal seizure disorders, were denied access by local clinical commissioning groups because of lack of empirical science which validated effectiveness of medical cannabis.

Reports also underline logistical problems which further causes loss of access because the prescriptions are often only valid for 28 days and doctors usually prescribe a month’s time. A UK importer then needs to apply to Home Office for a license to receive the product. The prescription however expires before the arrival of medical cannabis in the UK.

Sources therefore attribute the turn of many people to private healthcare to get access to medical cannabis. This however comes with its own share of difficulties. Several UK clinics which have license to medical cannabis, charge around £250 for an initial consultation, and the prescription costs £2,000 (~€2,367) a month to fill. This has been one of the major reasons why people are turning to illicit cannabis market in order to treat chronic health conditions.

Furthermore, as alleged by Marc Davis, a renowned global cannabis expert, UK’s medical community has insufficient knowledge about cannabis. Until 2018, cannabis has been classified as a Class A drug with no redeeming value to society and hence very little research has taken place in its medical properties.  In addition, doctors are not insured to prescribe cannabis-based drugs which are unlicensed in the UK.

With change in NICE guidelines, it was hoped that medical cannabis would be widely available and integrated into the NHS framework. Cannabis was however allowed only in the treatment of patients with MS and for certain types of epilepsy.

Although progress has made in the past few years, the uncertainty in acceptance of medical use of cannabis in the Britain still remains conspicuous.


Tags : medical cannabis, UK’s medical community,


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