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Prescribing of cannabis-based products

The new regulations to widen the availability of cannabis-based medicinal within the NHS came into effect today, 1 November 2018. Prescribing is restricted to a doctor on the GMC specialist register prescribing within their field of expertise where the cannabis-based product is an unlicensed ‘special’ medicinal product for use by a specific patient. Once a product receives a licence from the MHRA, it will be available for prescription in the same way as any other Schedule 2 drug.

The BMA has published some Q&As to explain what these changes mean, which include links to other guidance including:

Letter from NHS England with guidance on cannabis-based products for medicinal use

Guidance from the British Paediatric Neurology Association on use of cannabis-based products for children with epilepsy

RCP and RCR recommendations on cannabis-based products for medicinal use

NHS England has also published a patient leaflet which helpfully states that ‘You cannot get cannabis-based medicine from your GP - it can only be prescribed by a specialist hospital doctor’