Why pharmacists should be dispensing medical marijuana

Why pharmacists should be dispensing medical marijuana

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Phil Emberley is the director of professional affairs for the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA). He has been a practising pharmacist for almost 30 years. ———————————————– Suppose you take three medications for three different conditions. Now, add medical marijuana. Wouldn’t you want to know possible risks and interactions? That’s why the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) recently recommended that pharmacists play a front-line role in patient management and dispensing of medical marijuana. More patients are choosing medical marijuana as a treatment. As it stands today, many may be at risk by not receiving the same counsel and oversight provided for other drugs. For many patients, medical marijuana is a third or fourth line treatment, and these patients are often on a number of other medications. The potential for drug interactions increases and the need for pharmacist oversight becomes even more important. As an association, our decision to update our policy position was not taken lightly. We remain concerned with the lack of robust clinical evidence needed to develop appropriate therapeutic guidelines for medical marijuana and to fully integrate it into existing drug schedules. We represent thousands of pharmacists across Canada – all playing a critical role in the health and safety of Canadians. CPhA’s decision is about safety and responding to the need for appropriate oversight by health care professionals. CPhA consulted its membership and Canadians, and commissioned independent third party research on how best to enhance patient safety with respect to medical marijuana. We followed the evolving political and social landscape, and the pressures associated with the gap between legal access to medical marijuana and illegal, unregulated access. All roads pointed in the same direction, leading CPhA to take a stand on the issue and respond responsibly to the evolving needs of Canadians. In a national survey by Abacus Data, […]

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