Chilean pharmacies to sell medical cannabis-derived drugs

  • Next December Chilean patients will be able to take marijuana-based medications, obtaining them with the corresponding authorisation, and the country has also just approved Latin America's largest grass plantation.

Chilean patients are celebrating some great news: in December the country will authorise the sale of cannabis-based medications in pharmacies. The news was announced by Jaime Burrows, the country's Undersecretary of Public Health. The changes are expected to allow those who have permission to use medical marijuana to acquire it at licensed establishments, so that everything remains under control.

"What we are doing is shifting them over to the list of those [substances] that can be sold," said Burrows, adding that they will be marketed and classed under "controlled prescriptions." Therefore in the coming weeks, the Chilean Health Ministry will authorise the registration of medical products containing the substance.

This change will be carried out by modifying the decrees governing the use of drugs and those that completely prohibit the sale of cannabis-based substances. "These are two quite simple modifications, and we are ready," said the undersecretary. At this time the law is being reviewed by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who will soon make her support for the decision public.

The country has also just approved the largest marijuana plantation in Latin America for the same purpose. With a permit issued by the state Livestock and Agriculture Service of Maule, the Fundación Daya will be permitted to sow nearly 7,000 seeds, to benefit a total of 4,000 patients with cancer, refractory epilepsy or chronic pain.

The aim is also to further research and knowledge in this area, so the National Cancer Institute and two hospitals will be responsible for clinical studies in this area. Recently a similar project was carried out in the county of La Florida, but on a smaller scale, as it involved 200 individual patients.

With regards to the sale of the plant at pharmacies, Chile will be joining Uruguay, which announced its intention to do so by 2016. In this way Latin America is joining forces to improve the lives of its patients.


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