Today, the Medical Cannabis Regulations have been released, the reaction from patients has been mixed, with some excellent gains made around prescribers and access pathways, leaving the patients uphill battle for access squarely as a socio-economic issue.
“The unleashing of GP Prescribing for is a great result, with no list of conditions to refer to, it grants favourable prescribers complete freedom to prescribe, and treat MC with the same caution as other controlled drugs”
“Clearly the Ministry heard concerns around equity of access and arguments from professional bodies around the lack of specialists, we applaud them for taking our concerns onboard and amending the proposed regulations”.
Patient costs not directly addressed.
Disappointingly, however, costs have not been directly addressed, leaving products to continue being unaffordable to those who need them most. Costs have been gradually coming down over the last 18 months, as the recreational market in Canada has greatly increased supply and delivered economies of scale, while more recently competing products have entered the market. Locally made products could be cheaper again, – eventually once prescribing stigma has been reduced and if exports take off.
“The products will remain out of reach for those on supported living payments and the like, and without hard clinical data, ACC is unlikely to be funding patients in its care either. With these headwinds for the patients with the highest needs, breaking the law will still remain a viable option for those seeking a better quality of life.”