Italian regions battle over access to medicinal cannabis

In Italy, living in Tuscany or Veneto makes a big difference for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Those in Tuscany have access to pain-relieving drugs based on marijuana, while those in Veneto don’t. Because the first Italian regions to have approved decrees for the regulation of cannabinoids have chosen two very different models for prescribing and access to these medicines.

Tuscany has made the expensive drugs available through the public health system, allowing GPs to prescribe them when needed. And thanks to an agreement with the Military Institute of Pharmacy in Florence, production of marijuana has started on site in order to reduce the cost of importing and make the region self-sufficient. This saves money for patients and institutions, considering there are more than 500 patients receiving treatment at the pain therapy centre in Pisa alone.

Veneto, on the other hand, after much discussion by a technical committee, has agreed to subsidise medicines based...

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