Concerns : Federal law on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances – medical cannabis
Bern, 08.03.2021 – Following to December 8th vote by the National Council, The Council of States adopts the amendment to the Swiss Law on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Access to medical cannabis will be made easier, as an exceptional authorisation from the FOPH for its use will no longer be required. Doctors will therefore be able to prescribe the desired CBD / THC dosage by simple prescription. According to Brigitte Häberli-Koller, many patients are nowadays prescribed therapeutic cannabis. They suffer from cancer or multiple sclerosis, for example. Cannabis products help those affected to cope better with their illness, and the products relieve pain. Today, the situation is such that doctors must obtain an exemption authorisation from the FOPH. As Alain Berset explained during his talk, since 2012, this has represented approximately 10,000 people who have received exceptional authorisation from the FOPH for cannabis-based medicinal products. At present, 3,000 exceptional authorisations are given each year. Once a prescription has been issued, patients will go to the pharmacies. They will therefore have to offer various ratios of CBD / THC so that the various indications can be treated according to doctors’ prescriptions. Some patients are still asking for decriminalisation of self-cultivation in order to reduce costs. Indeed, a few plants at home are sufficient for self-medication. Pharmacies, on the other side, provide quality assurance thanks to the very strict standards throughout the production and distribution chain; this rigorous work and detailed documentation, which makes it possible to trace each step and handling carried out. Medical Cannabis is coming, the financial question is still to be solved. Reimbursement by health insurance companies is probably the way to reduce health costs (cannabis being a substitute for other more expensive treatments) and personal bills.