The updated law would give the responsibility for treatment exclusively to doctors
Switzerland is seeking to give doctors the opportunity to prescribe cannabis-based medicines, which would greatly improve their access and if approved, would create one of the most recently regulated markets in Europe.
The Federal Council wants to facilitate access to medical cannabis treatments. During his session of 26 June 2019, he put in consultation a draft amendment to the Law on Narcotics (LStup) open until 17 October.
The proposed legal amendment would place the cultivation, processing, manufacture and sale of marijuana for medical purposes in the regulatory wing of the Therapeutic Products Directorate (Swissmedic).
The amendment proposed by Switzerland is available here .
The change would allow physicians to prescribe cannabis-based treatments directly to patients, according to a government statement .
To do so, the authorities plan to "lift the ban on the circulation of medical cannabis" under the current law on narcotic drugs, he said.
Swiss patients are currently forced to follow a tedious process to access medical cannabis, which involves applying to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) for a derogation from the law prohibiting marijuana for medical purposes.
The "tedious administrative procedure" delay treatment and is no longer appropriate given the growing number of applications, the statement said.
Last year, about 3 000 exemptions were issued.
The updated law would give the responsibility for treatment exclusively to doctors.
The Federal Office of Public Health is launching a separate evaluation to determine whether there is evidence that the effectiveness of cannabis treatments allows mandatory reimbursement of costs and, if so, for what indications.
At present, the government says that treatments are reimbursed on a case-by-case basis after taking into account certain criteria, including the fact that other treatment options have failed.
The proposed amendment is independent of pilot project to study the economic and health consequences of cannabis use for non-medical purposes.
This decade-long pilot project would allow 5 000 maximum people to use various varieties of cannabis for recreational purposes.