The updated law would give the responsibility for treatment exclusively to doctors
Switzerland is seeking to give doctors the ability to prescribe cannabis-based drugs, which would dramatically improve their access and if approved, create one of the very last 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 within the regulatory wing of the Directorate of Therapeutic Products (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 this, the authorities plan to "lift the ban on the circulation of medical cannabis" under the current narcotics law, he said.
Swiss patients are currently forced to go through a tedious process to gain access to medical cannabis, which involves asking the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) for a waiver of the law banning medical marijuana.
The "tedious administrative procedure" delay treatment and is no longer appropriate given the growing number of nominations, the statement said.
Last year, about 3 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 assessment to determine whether there is evidence that the efficacy of cannabis treatments allows for mandatory reimbursement of costs and, if so, for what indications.
Right now, the government says treatments are reimbursed on a case-by-case basis after taking into account certain criteria, including that other treatment options have failed.
The proposed modification is independent of a 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.