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Switzerland: National Council simplifies access to medical cannabis

Hanf magazine reports..

Treatment with medical cannabis will no longer require a special permit. It is still unclear whether the health insurance will pay for the therapy. 

So that doctors in Switzerland can issue a prescription for medical cannabis, an exemption must be applied for from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). Last year the BAG issued 3000 permits.

In the opinion of the Federal Council, this procedure is no longer appropriate in view of the increasing number of patients seeking treatment with cannabis. It also makes it more difficult to access treatment and delays the start of therapy. The large chamber of the Parliament of the Swiss Confederation is therefore proposing to lift the current ban in the Narcotics Act.

Majority for easier access

In a vote in the National Council , 143 MPs voted in favor of the proposal to facilitate access to medical cannabis. “Those affected already suffer enough,” said Roland Fischer from the Green Liberal Party of the Canton of Lucerne. It cannot be that administrative processes make it difficult to access meaningful treatments.

The new law stipulates that the decision about a possible therapy with cannabis should be made between doctor and patient. However, the federal government will monitor the prescriptions. Doctors must provide the federal government with data on treatments.

The Federal Council has not clarified the question of whether the costs of treatment with cannabis will be covered by the health insurance. This should be checked separately. The Federal Council emphasizes that the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the treatments must be assessed. If the effectiveness can be proven, remuneration can be considered. A report should be available next year.

Source:  https://www.hanf-magazin.com/politik/international/schweiz-nationalrat-vereinfacht-zugang-zu-medizinischem-cannabis/

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