Labour MEP Alex Agius Saliba, together with his S&D colleagues, have launched EU Medicinal cannabis cross-party alliance.
The objectives of this alliance will be to introduce the harmonisation of the standards of medicinal cannabis across the EU Member States.
“Today, World’s Cancer Day, was a very important day to launch this alliance, as a lot of cancer patients are waiting for their medicinal cannabis treatment and are facing obstacles everyday. Medical cannabis is increasingly being used more frequently to treat patients with various conditions, and science is showing that the results are very encouraging. While more people are opening up to the idea of using medical cannabis to treat and aid in various conditions, this progress is clearly being slowed by the different regulations and conditions found regarding Medical Cannabis in each of the 27 Member States. Having these stark differences makes it that much harder to cooperate and move forward together for the benefit of our citizens”, MEP Agius Saliba said.
The EU legal framework on medicinal products does not prevent a cannabis-based product from receiving authorisation to be placed on the market as a medicinal product. “Such products fall under the same data requirements as any other medicinal products to support quality, safety and efficacy. However, in the absence of requests for the marketing authorisations, Member States need to grant access to medicinal cannabis, to named patients on a basis of a prescription, which can entail a variety of administration hurdles,” Agius Saliba said.
“It’s time for the EU to harmonise the standards of medicinal cannabis products across EU Member States. A harmonised approach to a legalised and regulated medicinal cannabis market will improve patients’ fair access to cannabis-based medicines. Unfortunately, we are currently in a situation where diverging standards lead to much higher prices and lack of available products in certain states. We have to make sure that medicinal cannabis should be affordable to all our citizens!” said MEP Agius Saliba
“Moreover, we need a more open dialogue with medicinal cannabis patients in order to establish a sustainable and environmentally conscious medicinal cannabis sector in all EU Member States” concluded Agius Saliba.