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Medical cannabis

Support Jersey's GPs to prescribe medical cannabis, deputy says

The Jersey government should support doctors on the island to prescribe medical cannabis, a member of the States Assembly of Jersey has said.

Speaking to the Jersey Evening Post on 18 March 2019, Rowland Huelin, deputy for the Parish of St Peter, Jersey, said the government should work with doctors to “hopefully, accelerate its usage” after all doctors on the island were given permission to prescribe medical cannabis. 

The law came into effect on 28 February 2019, but on 1 March 2019, Nigel Minihane, chair of the Jersey Primary Care Body, which represents Jersey GPs, told Channel 103, a local radio station, that GPs had been asked not to prescribe the drugs.

Minihane said there were “lots of reasons” why GPs would not currently be able to prescribe medical cannabis, but highlighted the risk of a negligence claim being brought against a doctor. 

Naomi Mews, a prescribing support pharmacist and a Jersey Local Practice Forum lead, speaking to The Pharmaceutical Journal in a personal capacity, said she was not aware of any licensed or unlicensed cannabis-based medical products having been added to the Prescribed List, which details the medicines available for prescription to Jersey residents.

“For a medicine to be considered for addition to the list it must be recommended by a registered medical practitioner or pharmacist contractor, and be reviewed by a committee that has oversight over changes to the limited list,” said Mews, adding that any proposed additions then have to be ratified by the minister for social security.

Mews said this was one of the “potential barriers to the provision of cannabis products through primary care at this time”, also citing GPs’ concerns about insurance and “a lack of clinical knowledge or experience in use in the practice of medicine of cannabis-based products”.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206313

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