New regulations to provide for cannabis-based medicinal products


One of my last acts as Minister of State for Primary Care was to sign regulations to enable authorised cannabis-based medicinal products to be legally prescribed by medical practitioners and used by patients.

I’m glad that many of the matters that had inhibited the progress of this issue have now been resolved. Hopefully, with the legal impediments now removed, a cannabis-based medicinal product will soon be available to ease the symptoms of spasticity for people with multiple sclerosis where other conservative treatments have failed.

The Misuse of Drugs Regulations, made under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977, are the primary legislative instrument regulating the import, export, manufacture, production, prescribing, supply, possession and administration of controlled drugs within the Irish health system. The granting of approval enabling this product to be used in Ireland was dependent on changes to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations.

The amending regulations also introduce a handwriting exemption in respect of prescriptions for methadone. This means that the following information will now not be required to be handwritten: name and address of the patient; dose/quantity/strength of the preparation to be taken; and instalment intervals.