Essentially section 25 is allowing unfettered importation of medical cannabis from overseas and the Council says…
Currently there is less regulatory oversight of Section 25 imports than vitamins sold in supermarkets.
Section 25 of the Medicines Act 1981
The exemption provisions in Section 25 allow all authorised prescribers to “procure the supply of any medicine” for a particular patient in their care. The term “any medicine” can include both approved and unapproved medicines. However, the authorised prescriber must always be working within their scope of practice.
“Procure the supply” permits the authorised prescriber to obtain a medicine by direct importation, or by requesting that a pharmacy compound a specific medicine for a known patient. An authorised prescriber may only procure the medicine after determining that a patient under their care requires that medicine (ie, the medicine cannot be obtained prospectively).
This exemption provision also allows an authorised prescriber to use an approved medicine for an unapproved use. For example, in an unapproved patient population, or with an unapproved dosage regimen, or for an unapproved indication or against a contraindication.
There is no requirement to provide any information to the Ministry of Health/Medsafe when an approved medicine is used for an unapproved use or if an authorised prescriber imports a medicine to treat his/her patient.
Regardless of whether the authorised prescriber uses approved or unapproved medicines, they must provide care of an adequate professional and ethical standard as described in the Code of Health and Disability Consumers’ Rights
Hemp Gazette reports…
While benefiting patients through lower cost products being available, the situation is impacting on the viability of local producers and distributors who cannot compete on price at this point. Among some of NZMCC’s other concerns is that some of these imported products are of “unknown quality and consistency”.
“The Ministry of Health doesn’t seem to be able to do much about doctors circumventing the Scheme,” said Manu Caddie, Chair of the NZMCC. “Unlicensed sellers of other cannabis products are really a matter for the Police; but they probably regard it as a low priority compared to more serious crime”.
One of the solutions offered by NZMCC is the descheduling or regulating lower dose CBD via Natural Health Products legislation that it says will increase access and lower prices.
“The Ministry would also greatly improve oversight and better protect patients,” said Mr. Caddie.
Under New Zealand’s Medicinal Cannabis Scheme, compliance requirements and the costs that result from pharmaceutical-grade GMP manufacturing are putting local producers at a disadvantage. NZMCC says to make local and legally prescribed products more accessible, ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) or WINZ (Work and Income New Zealand) could automatically approve funding to subsidise medicines.
Just four claims for prescription medical cannabis have been successful in securing ACC subsidy since last year, and over the last 5 years the majority of claims have involved a complex appeal and independent review process.
I know we shouldn’t say, told you so.
But if the local producers hadn’t pushed for the no vote because they thought they would get a more closed market that they could profit from rather than having to compete with recreational they might actually be doing better now.
They would have had a hand in writing sensible legislation across the board for medical and recreational and everybody would have had a better deal both consumers and suppliers with cannabis being grown in NZ.
Now, it appears we have a situation where consumers are we suggest buying medical cannabis for recreational use and this loophole allows for some to bring in lots of cheap “medicine” we’d just call it product and undercutting local producers
Sympathy level at CLR is low for the local producers and the situation now leaves the government with the headache of making amendments to the legislation to shut down the loophole. Which in turn will mean that the price of medical cannabis will skyrocket and those least able to afford and most need it will be out in the cold again.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it gain the only option it full medical and recreational adult use regulation across the board.