Crackdown on Jersey medicinal cannabis

Steve Luce Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (37772146)

A CRACKDOWN on medicinal cannabis clinics could be launched after an audit revealed “significant differences” in prescribing levels between Jersey and England and that some patients were receiving “multiple prescriptions at levels which may be harmful to their health”.

The audit, using monthly returns by pharmacists, showed that in a nine-month period in 2022, 18,990 prescriptions were issued to 4,139 patients in Jersey.

This constituted just over 6% of the working population, well over the figure of 0.05% in England.

And in January last year, 30 individual patients received prescriptions from two or more prescribers in Jersey, some from the same clinic but others from different establishments.

Environment Minister Steve Luce, who is responsible for regulation of medicinal cannabis, said that the differences in prescribing levels were significant, adding: “The audit also suggests that some people are receiving multiple prescriptions at levels which may be harmful to their health, this is of significant concern. I am, therefore, committed to developing the legislation necessary to regulate and inspect cannabis clinics in Jersey.”

NICE and NHS guidelines advise no more than 30 days’ supply of medicinal cannabis products whereas the multiple prescriptions were “for amounts that would reasonably be assumed to be more than one month’s supply”.

Deputy Luce’s concerns were echoed by Health Minister Tom Binet who published the audit. “In addition to regulation of cannabis clinics, we need to facilitate the sharing of accurate, timely information to aid cannabis clinics in their prescription decisions and to ensure that patients’ GPs have access to necessary information,” he said.

The audit was undertaken to establish the number of medicinal cannabis prescriptions dispensed in Jersey and the number of individual patients receiving medicinal cannabis, and to compare that data with equivalent statistics in the UK.

Only prescriptions relating to unlicensed medicinal cannabis were included in the study and it did not consider medicines licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to treat particular health conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –