NHS England has issued guidance on the use of cannabis-based products for medicinal use.
Following high-profile news stories over the summer, the Home Office reviewed the legal status of cannabis-based products for medicinal use. In light of evidence of therapeutic benefit in certain medical conditions these products will be rescheduled.
The guidance document notes that cannabis-based products for medicinal use should only be prescribed:
- for indications where there is clear published evidence of benefit or UK
- where there is a clinical need which cannot be met by a licensed medicine
- where established treatment options have been exhausted
- under the prescription or direction of a specialist doctor (listed on the Specialist Register of the General Medical Council)
Action: Clinicians should be aware of this guidance. It essentially rules out prescribing in primary care and places restrictions on specialist prescribing.