The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued its draft guideline on cannabis-based medicinal products.
In November 2018 the UK Government changed the law to make it possible for ‘cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans’ (or CBPMs) to be ordered and prescribed by specialist practitioners without a controlled drugs licence. NICE guidance has been keenly awaited by patients and carers, many of whom are finding that barriers to accessing CBPMs and other cannabis-based treatments remain in place despite the change in the law. While the guidance will not impose legally binding obligations, NHS bodies in particular will need to consider the guidance and any recommendations when considering whether to offer treatments involving CBPMs.
The draft guideline covers CBPMs, as well as Sativex, nabilone, CBD and synthetic cannabinoids, and their use in treating a number of conditions including intractable nausea and vomiting, chronic pain and severe epilepsy.
The draft guidance