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Response to the NICE consultation on cannabis-based medicinal products

In August 2018, a review by the Chief Medical Officer recommended moving cannabis-based medicinal products out of Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 ('the 2001 Regulations') into Schedule 2, thereby allowing them to be prescribed for medicinal purposes under controlled conditions by registered medical practitioners. Before the decision to reschedule cannabis-based medicinal products to Schedule 2 controlled drugs, the only cannabis-based medicinal products available were nabiximols (Sativex) and dronabinol.

In October 2018, the Home Office announced that from 1 November 2018, doctors on the Specialist Register of the General Medical Council will be able to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products.

Subsequently, the Department of Health and Social Care in England has asked NICE to develop guidance on prescribing of cannabis-based products for medicinal use.

In our response, the Society calls for clarification and recommends the guidelines refer to cannabis-based products for medicinal use throughout, in-line with legislation and guidance.

Read our response.