GSD’s Cannabis Bandwagon Backfires

The GSD’s latest press release regarding the UK’s legalisation of the prescription of cannabis for medicinal use is both misleading and contradictory to their previous position on this important matter. 

In their hurried attempt to jump on the medicinal cannabis bandwagon, the GSD have misunderstood an important fact: the UK legislation which commenced today allows Specialist consultants registered on the GMC Special Register to prescribe the use of unlicensed cannabis medicines, albeit under very restrictive conditions, as long as they are satisfied that it is safe to do so, where there is a clinical need which cannot be met by a licensed medicine and where established treatment options have been exhausted. Therefore, the UK’s new legislation falls well outside the remit of a ‘well-regulated system of medicinal products’ that the GSD advocate for.

The Gibraltar Government adds that it has been closely following the developments in the UK and has been taking clinical advice on this matter from the GHA. Now that the UK’s position is clear and enshrined in law, the GHA and the Drugs Advisory Committee will carefully consider how to proceed in Gibraltar.

The UK’s guidance will be meticulously scrutinised to assess their suitability for application to Gibraltar. The extremely restrictive conditions that the UK impose on such prescriptions will require further careful consideration as to whether it would even be possible to apply exactly the same law to Gibraltar as the GSD propose.

The Government further notes that the safety of patients is, as always, the paramount concern. "There are a number of complex clinical and regulatory issues that arise, and the UK’s legislation will need to be very carefully considered before any decision can be made as to the feasibility of allowing medicinal cannabis prescriptions in Gibraltar, and on what grounds. Once again, the GSD have jumped on a bandwagon without doing their due diligence and without even comprehending how the new UK legislation actually goes against their own stated position," said statement.