Dunne Outlines Options and Expectations in Letter re Cannabis-based ProductsHealth
Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has written to medical and pharmaceutical organisations clarifying the range of appropriately manufactured cannabis-based products that could be prescribed in New Zealand.
Following on from the decision to delegate decision-making responsibility to the Ministry of Health on medical decisions to prescribe cannabis-based products, Mr Dunne last week wrote to New Zealand’s Medical Association, Medical Council and Pharmaceutical Society outlining the list of internationally available products and his “ongoing expectation is that medical professionals consider the prescribing of cannabis-based products with an open mind.”
As anticipated, the list, prepared by the Ministry of Health, is short, illustrating the ongoing issue with product availability, which is further impacted by export restrictions on products from the United States.
“What we are seeing are new products slowly coming to market as manufacturers, such as Tilray in Canada, step up and meet the stringent requirements around Good Manufacturing Process”, said Mr Dunne.
“Unfortunately, Sativex, the one pharmaceutical-grade product that is available in New Zealand continues to be extortionately priced as big pharma continues to ignore the building resentment, both local and global, to the attitude these companies take to the sick and vulnerable.
“The government is making steady progress on the issue of cannabis-based products, an issue which generates a significant amount of interest, not always accurate or reasonable, but passionate nonetheless, and I expect to be able to make additional announcements on the issue in the coming weeks, including a response to the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs’ advice around the legal status of cannabidiol’, said Mr Dunne.