Written by mr. André Beckers
On the 2nd of June 2018 there was a lot of media attention for the Dutch General Practitioners Society (DGPS) under the headline “cannabis only palliative”. General Practioners (GP’s) are recommended not to prescribe cannabis for pain reduction or improvement of life. The backing of this recommendation can be found in the viewpoint published in March 2018. The DGPS is a scientific association for GP’s. Her aim is to improve a scientific responsible professional practice. It often clashes between science and the practice. I wonder if science is adequately imbedded in the practice on this subject.
Cannabis is assumed to work for different ailments. Adequate scientific studies with the in the Netherlands available cannabis that support these claims haven’t been found, according to the DGPS. Are the cannabis preparations that are available in the Netherland to restricted or are we behind in scientific studies on this topic? I fear both questions should be answered with a yes. I refer the reader interested in scientific studies abroad to “Guidance for the use of medical cannabis in Australia: Overview” from the 1st of December 2017. But hold on. If cannabis doesn’t work as a medicine why did doctors prescribe it approx. 50.000 times in 2017? That is 5 times the amount prescribed in 2012. If medicinal cannabis is prescribed this often patients are clearly benefiting from it, right? Monique Verduijn, from DGPS answers the question. “we aren’t saying that it doesn’t work, but there isn’t enough evidence available right now”. Okay that is an important nuance and a reassurance to all the patients who have a good treatment relationship with their GP.
Patients who believe to benefit from the use of cannabis must be able to speak openly with their GP about this. DGPS visions and views aren’t the law. Doctors are trained and are capable to use their own common scenes. A patients’ needs are still very important to doctors. I advise patients who were prescribed cannabis not to panic.
Translated by Joanna McKernan. Joanna works as a Lawyer for the law firm Beckers & Bergmans in Sittard. She is a native English speaker. Joanna has a lot of experience in cannabis related civil cases.
André Beckers (Lawyer)
available on phone: 003165317489
Joanna McKernan (Lawyer)
available on phone: 0031467600030