The Local Italy is reporting today (21 Jan) that Medical cannabis will now be available free of charge in the Sicily region, according to a decree signed today by Sicilian health chief Ruggero Razza.
The cost of prescriptions, available to patients suffering from chronic pain, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis, will be covered by the Sicilian regional government according to reports in Italian media.
Free cannabis in Sicily
The Region will bear the cost of drugs for therapeutic use
– The Sicilian Region will cover the costs incurred by patients who use cannabis for therapeutic use. This is foreseen by a decree signed by the councilor for health, Ruggero Razza.
The drug will be free of charge for patients suffering from chronic and neuropathic pain and spasticity from multiple sclerosis, and who will turn to public health facilities.
It is up to doctors from regional public health companies, specialists in anesthesia and resuscitation, neurology and pain therapy centers to prescribe cannabis therapy for patients for a maximum duration of six months; the preparation may be requested by the patient in hospital pharmacies. At the moment, however, in Sicily these pharmacies do not produce the drug, so the decree requires the Region to sign agreements with private individuals.
There are five private pharmacies that produce the drug, they are located in Agrigento, Catania, Palermo, Ragusa and Syracuse. The decree of the Sicilian Region is the arrival point of a work carried out, for over a year, by a technical table set up by the Councilor for Health and requested by some associations, including Bister of Catania and “Exist the rights” of Palermo . “We thank Councilor Razza for the sensitivity shown and for the decree just signed – says Giuseppe Brancatelli of Bister – it is an important result, as associations we will continue our action so that the audience of diseases for the free administration of the drug is enlarged”.