The German government presents a draft for a law, which would make cannabis flowers available on prescription by every doctor and force health insurances to reimburse cannabis-based medicines in certain cases
On 7 January the Federal Health Ministry presented a detailed draft for a law, which would set up a state cannabis agency to regulate the cultivation and distribution of cannabis to pharmacies. More patients would be given regulated access to the drug on prescription and paid for by their health insurance under measures outlined in the draft bill.
Health organizations and associations, including the German ACM (Association for Cannabis as Medicine), were invited to comment on the draft until 5 February. Patients would get cannabis-based medicines (cannabis flowers, extracts, dronabinol, nabilone) reimbursed, if no other treatment works for them. On 1 October 2015 527 patients suffering from at least 60 different diseases, including chronic pain, inflammatory diseases, psychiatric conditions, neurological diseases, appetite loss and nausea have been legally authorised to obtain cannabis at their own expense, because other treatments are not effective enough.
So far, an exemption by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices is necessary to get access to cannabis. In the future every physician will be able to prescribe cannabis flowers, which will be available from every pharmacy. The maximum amount to be prescribed will be 100g per month, but this amount can be exceeded in justified cases. According to the draft the cannabis agency will be installed at the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices. The agency will not only supervise the production and distribution of cannabis products, but also set the maximum price for cannabis in pharmacies. Patients, who want their costs to be reimbursed, have to participate in accompanying research, which is intended to run until the end of December 2018 to get a basis for further decisions on re-imbursement by health insurances from August 2019 on.Republish