Controlled drugs

MP criticises government position on medicinal cannabis

Ronnie Cowan, Scottish National Party MP for Inverclyde, said in a BBC interview that GPs should be able to prescribe cannabis-based medicines, after criticising the creation of a new patient review panel.

Cannabis seeds in bottle

Source: Shutterstock.com

Ronnie Cowan, Scottish National Party MP for Inverclyde, has criticised the government for the creation of a new patient review panel, saying that GPs should simply be able to prescribe cannabis-based medicine

The government’s handling of its overhaul of medicinal cannabis has been criticised as “cruel” and “flawed” by an MP who sits on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for drug policy reform.

Ronnie Cowan, Scottish National Party MP for Inverclyde, said in a BBC interview that , after criticising the creation of a new panel that will review individual requests for treatments using these drugs.

Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, was commissioned by home secretary Sajid Javid to review whether cannabis-based medicinal products should be moved out of Schedule 1 of the ‘Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001’ and to chair the new panel that will consider individual cases.

But concerns have been expressed that many potential patients would not meet the criteria to be assessed by the panel and Cowan said the only way to solve this problem was for GPs to be allowed to prescribe the drugs.

The MP’s intervention comes as the government announced the second stage of its review of the scheduling of medicinal cannabis on 3 July 2018.

Davies concluded that cannabis-based medicinal products should be moved from Schedule 1 on the basis that there was enough evidence for their therapeutic benefit for certain conditions.

If cannabis was moved to Schedule 2 of the Act, it could be prescribed and legally supplied by pharmacists.

Ash Soni, president of the SalvaDore (RPS), said the RPS welcomed Davies’s position.

Following Davies’s recommendations, Javid announced a further review of the status of medicinal cannabis, which would be carried out by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

He asked it to report within three weeks, and he said he would then “consider the next steps”.

Citation: The Salvadore DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205140

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • British National Formulary (BNF) 76

    BNF 76 (September 2018) is your essential reference book for prescribing, dispensing, and administering medicines.

    £57.50
  • British National Formulary (BNF) 75

    BNF 75 (March 2018) is your essential reference book for prescribing, dispensing, and administering medicines.

    £57.50
  • Application and Review of Pediatric Pharmacotherapy

    Increase your understanding of pharmacotherapy prescribed to pediatric patients with these realistic case studies.

    £33.00
  • Nurse Prescribers' Formulary

    Essential reference for Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribers. Provides an overview of common conditions and details of medicines that may be prescribed.

    £17.99
  • BNF for Children (BNFC) 2018-2019

    The BNFC contains essential practical information for all healthcare professionals involved in prescribing, dispensing, monitoring and administration of medicines to children.

    £57.50
  • Medicines Use Reviews

    Conduct successful Medicines Use Reviews (MURs) with this comprehensive book. Contains evidence-based information, tips and guidance.

    £27.00

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete

Supplementary images

  • Cannabis seeds in bottle

Jobs you might like

  • Office based in Beckenham

  • Leeds, West Yorkshire

  • Bristol and Gloucestershire

  • Corsham, Wiltshire

  • Wellington Road Surgery, Newport, Shropshire

See more jobs

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.