I read that the NZ Minister (resp. Drug Policy) has announced that restrictions on CBD medicines are to be eased, to allow GP doctors to prescribe these drugs, to their patients.. no longer requiring higher approval. The main issues being:
1) these drugs are not produced/manufactured in NZ. They have to be imported from overseas.
2) all cannabinoid drugs are not funded by the Govt. pharmaceutical agency (Pharmac) & patients have to pay ‘full price’. Sativex current costs >$1000/month
3) there is still no plans to allow doctors to prescribe other cannabinoids (with THC content), in this way
4) the ‘raw herb’ is still under a ‘zero-tolerance’ regime.. no plans to allow either local production or medicinal uses
I read these statements, from the Minister & other comments in the press release:
‘Kiwi doctors will soon be able to prescribe cannabis-based medicines without needing approval from the Ministry of Health.’
‘Associate Health Minister (name removed) says the removal of restrictions on cannabidiol (CBD) will put new Zealand “in line with international developments”.
“At present CBD products for therapeutic use are only available if approval is given by the Ministry of Health.”
“I have taken advice from the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD) that CBD should not be a controlled drug, and am pleased Cabinet has now accepted my recommendation to make this change.”
‘CBD will be able to be prescribed just like any other medicine once the changes are in place. Pharmacies and other providers will no longer need an import license to bring CBD products into the country.’
“Currently there is a limited range of CBD products made to a standard where prescribers can be sure the products contains what is claimed – and strict import and export restrictions on products sourced from other countries, which will continue to impact the supply of CBD products in New Zealand,”
* It is good to hear this, but it is still, a ‘double standard’ for the reasons I mentioned above. Hopefully this will be the start of further reforms (fingers crossed) ?