The NZMCC says some medical practitioners are importing products and selling directly to patients, taking advantage of a loophole in Section 25 of NZ’s Medicines Act.
That section provides an exemption allowing all authorised prescribers to “procure the supply of any medicine”; including approved and unapproved medicines. Among other things, it allows an prescriber that is authorised get a medicine by direct importation.
The Council claims presently there was less oversight that is regulatory of 25 imports than vitamins sold in supermarkets.
While benefiting patients through lower cost products being available, the situation is impacting on the viability of local producers and distributors who cannot compete on price at this point. Among some of NZMCC’s other concerns is that some of these imported products are of “unknown consistency” and quality.
“The Ministry of wellness does seem to be n’t able to do much about doctors circumventing the Scheme,” said Manu Caddie, Chair of the NZMCC. “Unlicensed sellers of other cannabis products are really a matter for the Police; but they probably regard it as a priority that is low to more serious crime”.
One of the solutions offered by NZMCC is the descheduling or regulating lower dose CBD via Natural Health Products legislation that it says will increase access and lower prices.
“The Ministry would additionally significantly enhance oversight and better protect patients,” stated Mr. Caddie.
Under Brand new Zealand’s Medicinal Cannabis Scheme, conformity needs plus the expenses that derive from pharmaceutical-grade GMP production are placing producers that are local a disadvantage. NZMCC says to make local and legally prescribed products more accessible, ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) or WINZ (Work and Income New Zealand) could approve funding to automatically subsidise medications.
Just four claims for prescription medical cannabis happen effective in securing ACC subsidy since a year ago, and during the last 5 years nearly all claims have actually included a appeal that is complex independent review process.
The New Zealand Medical Cannabis Council is an industry association representing approximately 30 companies that are licensed