Guidance on the sale and supply of medical cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) oils is one of several new additions to the 43rd edition of
Medicines, Ethics and Practice (MEP
), a professional guide for pharmacists which has been published by the Royal Pharmaceutics Society (RPS).
A new section on cannabis-based products summarises the difference between CBD oils, licensed cannabis-derived and synthetic products and cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPMs). It also provides advice on supplying CPBMs for a prescription and signposts to guidance from bodies including the RPS, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the Home Office.
Sonia Garner, professional standards adviser at the RPS, said: “We know from media coverage and discussions with key stakeholders that there needs to be some key information about these products readily available for pharmacists.
“We worked with the Department of Health and Social Care and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and the MEP advisory panel to include this [section] in MEP.
“We have also added a section on prescriptions from the Crown dependencies — Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man — which was introduced following a discussion by the MEP advisory panel.”
Among other updates, the chapter on medicines optimisation and pharmaceutical care now signposts to the RPS’s guidance on ‘Polypharmacy: Getting our medicines right’, and the chapter on controlled drugs includes a summary of responses to the Gosport Independent Panel’s report. There is also a brief summary of the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD), with a pointer to the Society’s online FMD Hub.
Other changes include adding gabapentin and pregabalin to the section on prescription requirements for controlled drugs, and renaming and updating the section on contining professional development to include revalidation requirements.
The 43rd edition of MEP, MEP 43, will be distributed to UK-based members with the July 2019 issue of The Pharmaceutical Journal. Printed copies of MEP 43 are not sent to overseas members, or students and retired members, but an online version is available for members to download from the RPS website.
The RPS is keen to hear from members interested in joining the MEP advisory panel for future updates. Volunteers from across Great Britain, at all career stages and from any sector, who are interested in joining are asked to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.