Prescribing medicinal cannabis (FOI)
Prescribing medicinal cannabis (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 29 November 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
What governance procedures are in place to oversee the prescribing of medicinal cannabis in Jersey?
How is the medicinal cannabis prescribing being regulated? Who is the Goverment of Jersey governance lead for this?
How many patients are being prescribed medicinal cannabis in Jersey?
How many doctors are prescribing medicinal cannabis in Jersey?
A and B
Cannabis-Based Products for Medicinal Use (CBPM’s) must be prescribed in accordance with the Misuse of Drugs (Jersey) Law 1978 and the Medicines (Jersey) Law 1995 and the relevant Orders.
Sativex, a licensed cannabis-based medicinal product, is only prescribed and dispensed via the hospital pharmacy and, as such, is subject to Health and Community Services’ (HCS’) internal systems of control and oversight. HCS has a policy of following the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance, which includes guidance on prescribing of CBPM’s:
Cannabis-based medicinal products (nice.org.uk)
Other CBPM’s can be prescribed by doctors and other registered prescribers in Jersey - for example, nurse prescribers - although it is understood from information provided by pharmacists to the Chief Pharmacist (see response to Questions 3 and 4) that CBPM’s are currently only prescribed by doctors in Jersey.
All doctors practising in Jersey have to be licensed with the General Medical Council (GMC) and are expected to abide by the GMCs Good Medical Practice guide, which specifically mentions the need to have enhanced governance around prescribing controlled drugs such as CBPM’s. Doctors are obliged to reflect on this practice during their annual appraisal which results, every 5 years, in a GMC re-licensing recommendation from their GMC Responsible Officer (who may be based in the UK or Jersey).
Information for doctors on cannabis-based-products for medicinal use (CBPMs) (gmc-uk.org)
Where either of HCS’ GMC Responsible Officers (ROs) act as the RO for GMC licensed doctors on island, those doctors have been contacted and reminded of their responsibilities with regard to prescribing CBPM’s. This does not include all GMC licensed doctors practising in Jersey.
As matters currently stand, private clinics are not subject to a separate regulatory regime in Jersey, including in relation to CBPM prescribing.
C and D
Article 13 (7) of the Misuse of Drugs (General Provisions) (Jersey) Order 2009 requires any pharmacy in Jersey who dispenses CBPM’s to provide to the Chief Pharmacist details of CBPM’s dispensed.
An audit of the information provided by pharmacies has been undertaken to better understand CBPM prescribing in Jersey. This includes the number of patients being prescribed CBPM’s and the number of prescribing doctors.
The audit data is currently being reviewed for data quality assurance. It is envisaged that this process will be completed and the findings will be published before end of Quarter 1, 2024. Therefore, Article 36 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied.
Article 36 - Information intended for future publication
(1) Information is qualified exempt information if, at the time when the request for the
information is made, the information is being held by a public authority with a view to its being published within 12 weeks of the date of the request.
(2) A scheduled public authority that refuses an application for information on this ground
must make reasonable efforts to inform the applicant –
(a) of the date when the information will be published;
(b) of the manner in which it will be published; and
(c) by whom it will be published.
(3) In this Article, “published” means published –
(a) by a public authority; or
(b) by any other person.
Public Interest Test
Article 36 is a qualified exemption. As such, a public interest test has been conducted to determine whether, on balance, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
Public interest considerations favouring disclosure:
- disclosure of the information would support transparency and promote accountability to the general public.
Public interest considerations favouring withholding the information:
- audit data containing the information requested is currently under review, with publication to follow completion of data quality assurance. It is reasonable for a Scheduled Public Authority to publish reports in an orderly manner, following completion of appropriate internal processes.