Current Affairs
Proposal for all doctors to be allowed to prescribe medicines with cannabis substance

The use of medicine that contain cannabis will be more accessible for patients who need the medicine, which however still need a doctor’s prescription and controls by the public health superintendent. Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister, Chris Fearne, while presenting the first reading of amendments to the Act, said that it will not be tolerated that this medicine is bought on the internet.

Although amendments will be made in law so that doctors will provide medicine manufactured from cannabis for certain chronic conditions, it will not be permitted that these medicines are in the form of tobacco and not even for the cultivation of cannabis plants.

This was announced by Minister Chris Fearne during a press conference before he presents the first reading of amendments to the law on the use of medicinal products made from cannabis. Dr Fearne added that the amendments will address complaints received from hundreds of patients and doctors as the law enacted two years ago was too restrictive because prescription for these medicines was being given only by the specialist and not family doctors.

“We are clearly saying that no product will be in the form of smoking. There are tablets, spray and oils which one may use in the form of gmp, always under doctor’s prescription”, the deputy PM said. “We are also saying that products will be imported in the country and used for medicinal use which are medicines and manufactured from gmp”.

Dr Fearne added that this discussion is a separate one from that on the recreational use of cannabis. He said that it will not be permitted for a person to buy products with cannabis substances on the internet, while stating that doctor’s prescription may be made by providing the green card for more control.

Public Health Superintendent, Chairmaine Gauci, stated that these products will be of assistance for various patients. “These medicines are mostly used in chronic disease conditions to alleviate pain caused by them”, Dr Gauci said. “It may be used in situations of heavy spastic disease, such as multiple sclerosis, to reduce symptoms of nausea and vomiting for those administered with chemotherapy.

Questioned as to whether these products will be allowed to be manufactured in Malta, Dr Fearne replied that this will not be possible. He said that the Economy Minister will be presenting amendments to the law in Parliament, for a discussion on the possibility of medicinal products with cannabis plant substances being manufactured in Malta.

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