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Students at Welsh Annual Professional Debate vote against OTC sale of medical cannabis products

Pharmacists should not sell cannabis-derived medical products over the counter (OTC), according to pharmacy students at the 2019 Annual Professional Debate.

Co-hosted by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Wales and Healthcare Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) Pharmacy Deanery, this year’s debate was held in Cardiff on 8 April 2019. During the evening, more than 100 pharmacy students debated whether pharmacies should supply OTC medical cannabis products.

After hearing arguments for and against the motion, 56% of the students disagreed or strongly disagreed that pharmacists should sell the product, while 37% agreed or strongly agreed.

Only 20% of voters agreed that there was enough evidence to support the pharmacy supply of OTC cannabis-derived medical products, with 77% disagreed.

Arguments presented in favour of OTC supply included the view that patients would be assured of the quality of products available from pharmacies and be able to receive appropriate advice on their use. But against the motion, the case was made that very few cannabis-derived medicinal products have a strong evidence base and none are recommended by the National Instititute for Health and Care Excellence.

However, 76% of attendees said that ‘medical grade’ cannabidiol products should be available on prescription, with only 13% in disagreement.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206415

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