Welcoming new NICE guidance on cannabis-based medicinal products published today, RPS Chief Scientist Gino Martini said:
“It’s excellent news for patients that two cannabis-based medicines, Sativex and Epidyolex, for epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, have been approved for use by the NHS in England.
“Pharmacists will be on the frontline of supplying cannabis-based medicinal products and can give advice to patients on them as part of their treatment plan. It’s essential there is robust governance around prescribing and dispensing, and pharmacists have a key role to play in ensuring this is in place across health systems.”
“It’s also good to see that many of the recommendations we made to the draft NICE guidance have been taken on board. “In particular, we welcome the recommendation that there is a focus on prescribing based on clinical evidence.
“It’s encouraging to see the detail around shared care in the guidance, balancing patient access with specialist expertise. The guideline recognises the need for clear lines of responsibility and that some non-specialist clinicians might not be comfortable prescribing.
“We agree that national registers of treatment with cannabis-based medicinal products should be set up to record evidence on clinical outcomes and adverse effects with prescribing in real-life situations.”