The GROW product basket can be accessed by all clinics in the UK, with increasing availability across Germany and other markets as we expand our network. In the development of GROW Iberia, we are ensuring the continued refinement of our product offering, with access to the products that patients want and need in all our markets. Increased availability will also be ensured through the development of GROW Trading.
Cannabis has been used in the treatment of medical conditions for thousands of years. Cannabis-based medicinal products were moved to schedule 2 in November 2018, meaning that such prescriptions could be written by doctors on the GMC specialist register. However, there must be clear evidence of safety and efficacy for the conditions indicated in such cases.
The NHS currently allows the prescription of medicinal cannabis products for patients in the following groups: • Children with rare, severe forms of epilepsy • Adults with nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy • Adults with muscle pain due to multiple sclerosis
A reported 1.4 million people see no other option but to buy medical cannabis illegally. However, these people are running the risk of legal prosecution and imprisonment for up to 2 years. What’s more, carers who provide medical cannabis to their patients are liable to be given sentences of up to 14 years, with their assets being seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Clinicians listed on the Specialist Register of the General Medical Council can prescribe unlicensed cannabis medications in a private setting as long as they follow relevant GMC guidance and NHS Trust governance procedures for unlicensed medicines. Prescriptions should also be restricted to the scope of the specialist’s area of practice and training, with the agreement of a multidisciplinary team. GP’s may refer their patients where other treatment options have been explored and not had the desired effects.
There is a wide range of unlicensed cannabis-based products available, including oils and dried flowers, produced in line with good manufacturing practices and available for prescription. GROW leads the way in unlocking the potential of cannabis medicines, ensuring that as many patients as possible have access to the most beneficial products. We are already helping over 3,000 patients in the UK, representing 30% of those receiving cannabis medicines in the UK. There is every confidence that this patient group will expand as we continue to invest in research and development.
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