The reasons behind low medical cannabis prescription rates

The reasons behind low medical cannabis prescription rates

New research has offered insight into the factors driving the low medical cannabis prescription rates in the UK and the polarisation of attitudes among UK healthcare professionals towards its use.

The analysis from Creation Healthcare offers insight into key events and factors driving the online conversation over medical cannabis prescription among healthcare professionals over the period, such as the impact of EU-UK trade restrictions disrupting the supply of medical cannabis from the Netherlands in early 2021.

Much of the conversation surrounded Hannah Deacon and her campaign urging the Government to intervene following a notice by the Department of Health and Social Care that in just two weeks, her son Alfie’s supply of a life-changing cannabis medicine would cease. The case revealed strong polarisation in attitudes among UK healthcare professionals towards medical cannabis prescription.

Fear of encouraging self-medication and a lack of understanding

Medical cannabis was made legal in the UK in November 2018. Despite this, in 2019 only 18 people in the UK were issued a prescription.

The authors found that many physicians participating in the online discussion expressed a lack of knowledge of the drug’s beneficial effects adverse effects and of how to advise patients and therefore contributing to low prescription rates.

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