Two new kiwi manufactured medicinal cannabis medicines will be available on prescription from Thursday after the Medicinal Cannabis Agency announced they have been verified as meeting its stringent quality standards.
The news couldn't come soon enough for kiwi patients who have been looking for more affordable options after transitional arrangements in the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme came to an end on September 30th removing the availability of 13 different products that failed to meet the quality standard.
The New Zealand Herald reports that the two new Kiwi-made cannabidiol medicines will be available on prescription from Thursday - 18 months after new regulations came into force, and almost three years after a law change triggering a new industry. And they're expected to be cheaper than imported medicines on the market, with pricing comparable to the CBD products that have been harder to access since the end of a grace period last week.
The New Zealand Medicinal Cannabis Council (NZMCC), an industry body, had stated recently that locally made products were expected by the end of the year.
"This is only the start of the journey, with Kiwi patients our priority," said Carmen Doran, chief executive of Helius Therapeutics, the company making the new CBD medicines. "They've waited a really long time for this day."
NZMCC executive director Sally King said the new medicines will go some way to address patients' concerns about limited choices after the end of the grace period.
"It is the dawn of a new era for medicinal cannabis in New Zealand," King said. "This should give prescribers and patients confidence that Ministry of Health-approved medicinal cannabis products made in New Zealand are reliable, high-quality medicine that can be trusted and supplied locally."
Patients interested in medicinal cannabis products and their options should discuss their situation with their doctor or pharmacist. General information on medicinal cannabis is available on mcinfo.com where Helius is the education sponsor.