Thanks to a vote by the Sicilian regional government, medical Cannabis users in the large province of southern Italy no longer have to pay a penny for their treatment.
The decree is the result of a long-term work carried out over more than a year by a committee set up by the Health Councillor and requested by some associations, including the Sicilian Cannabis Patients’ Association: ‘ Bis Ter.
We thank Councillor Razza for the sensitivity shown and for the decree that has just been signed.
This is an important result, as an association we will continue our action in order to enlarge the list of diseases accepted for free administration of the drug. “Giuseppe Brancatelli de Bis Ter – In illustration
In fact , Italy has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Also , each region administers its department. Therefore today Sicily offers access to this new medicine to its citizens and provides the LA for the other regions. The great southern province recognizes the effectiveness of this plant and has just changed its laws.
The new Sicilian policy on medical cannabis is similar to Czech government decision of last October.
Under Czech law, patients reimbursed up to 90% of prescription costs. The law also covers a maximum of 30 grams of cannabis per month.
Basically , the real revolution in Sicily is that for patients suffering from:
- Chronic pain
- Cerebral palsy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- The full cost of treatment will be therefore covered by the Sicilian Regional Government.
- It is also up to the doctors of the regional public health societies, the specialists of the centers for anesthesia and resuscitation, neurology and pain therapy, to prescribe Cannabis-based therapy.
- Prescriptions will be issued to patients for a maximum period of 6 months and will, of course, be renewable thereafter.
The prescription of cannabis for medical use is already legal in Italy when the patient does not respond to conventional therapies.
Moreover , the list of medical uses includes:
- to relieve chronic pain, as well as pain associated with multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury
- treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and HIV treatments
- stimulation of appetite for patients suffering from cachexia, anorexia, reduction of involuntary movements
- Patients with Tourette’s Syndrome
Cannabis preparations or flowers for instance can be removed by patients in hospital pharmacies. For the moment, however, in Sicily, pharmacies do not produce the drug. The decree also obliges the region to sign specific agreements with individual pharmacists.
Basically , 5 private pharmacies that produce the medicine and are located in the cities of Agrigento, Catania, Palermo, Ragusa, and Siracusa.
Just last week it emerged that Italian researchers had discovered tetrahydro cannabiphorol ‘THCP’ and cannabidiphorol ‘CBDP’.
Pharmacological tests revealed that THCP appeared to be more than 30 times more potent in its ability to bind to CB1 endocannabinoid receptors, compared to THC. These results suggest that THCP acts similarly to THC but at lower doses, about half the dose.