Government To Allow Cannabis Medicines
This week the government has pushed through a revision to the Pharmaceuticals Act which looks set to allow the use of marijuana in pharmaceuticals for certain diseases using cannabis sativa.
Through the law, the revision modifies also the Narcotics Act, classing two cannabis-based molecules as second class narcotics, which means thwy can be used in pharmaceutical products fro a restricted range of indications, thanks to their medically acknowledged therapeutic and pain-killing action.
Other changes to the law have incited pharmaceutical companies to protest as stricter rules and new systems will likely slash away at their profits. The measures include pharmacists being obliged to offer the cheapest available drug to patients, but they still have the option to choose.
Original molecule pharmaceutical companies will be hardest hit, as substitution by cheaper generics will be applicable where possible. The PM was infuriated at lobbying this week by the ambassadors of the biggest pharmaceutical producing countries.
Among other things, the new policy will mean pharmaceutical sales reps will be prohibited from visiting doctors during surgery hours, which is their main channel for establishing ‘good relationships’ with physicians. Some pharmaceutical companies have also not been happy recently with the new categorisation, which is the classification of drugs into groups and setting the levels of reimbursement they receive from public health insurance.
The draft bill still has to go through parliament, but if passed, Slovakia will join the likes of United Kingdom, Spain and the Czech Republic, where such drugs are already available for various ailments, including for multiple sclerosis and cancer patients. The Ministry of Health has assured that the approval and administration of such drugs would be under strict control.
Read more: Radicova Disgusted at Lobbying from Ambassadors | The Daily News – Slovakia http://www.thedaily.sk/2011/06/09/political-affairs/radicova-disgusted-at-lobbying-from-ambassadors/#ixzz1OrJuo7y2