Supporting the Protect Our Patients Campaign for Wider Medical Cannabis AccessMay 12, 2023 | IN NEWS | BY MCCS
The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society is proud to announce our support for a new campaign called “Protect Our Patients.” This vital campaign, led by the Cannabis Industry Council (CIC), aims to extend the legal access to medical cannabis in the United Kingdom. Currently, 1.8 million patients rely on the illicit market for their medical cannabis needs, and we believe it’s time to change that.
In 2018, then Home Secretary Sajid Javid MP introduced new rules allowing specialist medical practitioners, but not general practitioners (GPs), to prescribe cannabis medicines. This change resulted in about 1,000 patients receiving cannabis prescriptions through the NHS annually, with an additional 20,000 patients obtaining private prescriptions each year.
However, these numbers pale in comparison to the 1.8 million people in the UK accessing the illicit cannabis market for medical reasons. This issue stems, in part, from the fact that GPs are unable to prescribe medical cannabis and the prohibitive cost of private prescriptions for those on low incomes or disability benefits.
The Protect Our Patients campaign calls for a change in policy, allowing GPs to prescribe medical cannabis to their patients. This relatively straightforward change would greatly benefit countless patients in need. The campaign is seeking support from various industry organisations, including the Society, Volteface, and Maple Tree Consultants, to rally behind this critical initiative.
Soicety Founder and CIC President, Professor Mike Barnes, highlighted the importance of the campaign, stating, “The current model for medical cannabis where only consultants can prescribe is simply not working in the interests of the majority of patients.” He urged the industry to unite around this agenda to better protect patients in need.
The Society fully supports the Protect Our Patients campaign and GP prescribing of medical cannabis. We also welcome GPs as members of our Society, recognising the essential role they play in patient care.
To support the campaign, you can share its details, including the video, on your social media channels using #ProtectOurPatients.
Visit the website at www.protectourpatients.co.uk for more.
Together, we can advocate for more accessible medical cannabis and ensure that patients receive the care they deserve. Let’s work together to make medical cannabis more widely available and help patients access the medicine they so desperately need.