Easy accessibility to medical cannabis: opening of the session

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Bern, 26.06.2019 – The Federal Council desires to facilitate entry to medical cannabis remedies. At its assembly on June 26, 2019, it put into session a draft modification to the Narcotics Act (LStup). The latter supplies that sufferers might be prescribed cannabis remedies immediately by the physician, with out having to ask for an distinctive authorization from the Federal Workplace of Public Well being (FOPH). Then again, nothing adjustments for non-medical cannabis, which continues to be banned.

Using medical cannabis has risen sharply lately. 1000’s of sufferers use it for instance in case of most cancers or a number of sclerosis. At current, sufferers who want to obtain a cannabis remedy containing greater than 1% THC should generally apply for an distinctive authorization from the FOPH. This process complicates entry to remedy, delays the beginning of remedy and is not sufficient given the rising variety of requests. In 2018, the FOPH has issued practically 3,000 authorizations.

Prescription immediately by the physician

The challenge permits the physician to prescribe cannabis remedies immediately. To do that, it’s deliberate to raise the ban on the circulation of medical cannabis within the regulation on narcotics. The cultivation, processing and commerce of medical cannabis will subsequently be doable throughout the framework of the management system supplied by Swissmedic. In distinction, non-medical cannabis continues to be banned.

The cannabis-based remedies that may be prescribed in Switzerland are both medicines licensed by Swissmedic, or grasp preparations developed in pharmacy, and are normally taken orally.

Medical cannabis is utilized in a number of indications. It helps, for instance, to alleviate continual ache and stimulate the urge for food of sufferers affected by most cancers. It is usually used to cut back spasticity in a number of sclerosis.

Necessary refund assessment

The query of reimbursement of cannabis remedies via obligatory medical health insurance might be analyzed individually and isn’t a part of the challenge put in session.

At current, the remedies can solely be reimbursed on a case by case foundation, after an examination carried out by the affected person’s medical health insurance in line with particular standards. One of many circumstances for reimbursement is that different remedy choices have failed.

The primary impediment to automated reimbursement lies in the truth that the scientific proof on the efficacy of medical cannabis continues to be inadequate and the conclusions of present research partly contradictory. This proof of effectivity is likely one of the important circumstances laid down by the regulation on medical health insurance. At current, medical doctors are actually seeing constructive indicators in medical observe, however large-scale research are nonetheless missing.

To make clear the state of affairs, the FOPH will launch an analysis challenge (Well being Know-how Evaluation). It should present whether or not the effectiveness of cannabis remedies might be sufficiently confirmed to permit a compulsory reimbursement and if that’s the case for what indications.

 

Supply – The Federal Council
Picture – Hans (p)

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