Did you know you can take your cannabis prescription to any dispensing pharmacy in the UK? We spoke to Hannah Deacon, who co-founded Botanical Health Dispensary earlier this year, about the benefits of getting your medication through an independent pharmacy.
Recent months have seen a number of new cannabis dispensaries opening in the UK, in response to the growing demand for medicinal cannabis products.
There are now around 20,000 patients being legally prescribed cannabis, with just under 20 private clinics operating.
But while some clinics have pharmacies which they are associated with, many patients are still unaware that they have the freedom to choose where they get their medicine dispensed from.
Once a doctor has written the prescription, it will need to be processed by an appropriate pharmacy. However, patients do not have to use the pharmacy which is recommended by their clinic or doctor.
They can ask for a copy of the prescription and take it to any pharmacy which is dispensing medical cannabis products in the UK.
Independent pharmacies are able to offer a wider range of products, due to not being affiliated with any particular producers, and patients can also be assured they are being charged fair, competitive prices.
Some patients also report that they have received better service and overall experience with an independent company.
Since the demand for medical cannabis has risen exponentially since the legalisation in 2018, some dispensaries have struggled to cope, in some cases leaving patients facing stock issues and delays to receiving their medication.
Earlier this year, campaigner and cannabis industry leader, Hannah Deacon launched Botanical Health Dispensary, with pharmacist of 35 years, Caroline Harvey, as a direct response to the challenges patients were reporting.
Deacon is keen to make patients aware that there are other options available to them.
“Speaking to patients about their prescribing experience of medical cannabis in the UK, I realised that many felt stuck, stressed, and ignored,” Deacon told Cannabis Health.
“So many don’t know that patients and doctors have the right to choose where and who fulfils a prescription or a repeat prescription. It’s no different for medical cannabis than it would be for any other prescribed medication.
Harvey was the pharmacist who dispensed the first legal prescription for medical cannabis in the UK, for Deacon’s son Alfie Dingley in 2018.
She leads a team of colleagues at Leyes Lane Pharmacy, Botanical Health Dispensary’s allied pharmacy based in their hometown of Kenilworth, Warwickshire.
Botanical Health aims to give patients greater choice and an emphatic service, provided by a team which understands first-hand what it’s like to be a patient or carer.
“We know what it’s like to be waiting for your prescription or be unsure about the process – we’ve been there – we knew that we could improve things for UK medical cannabis patients,” Deacon continued.
“We provide people with a dispensing experience different from anything else available. To us, you’re a person first – never just a number or yet another prescription. So every patient really matters to us.”
A patient, who has had their medication dispensed through Leyes Lane, said: “The service was always faultless. Caroline made me feel welcome and kept me up to date with my prescriptions. I never experienced a problem with them, unlike the first pharmacy I used. They made me feel at ease and were always approachable for any enquiries. I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in dispensing my medication.”
Botanical Health is able to fulfil first and repeat prescriptions on behalf of medical cannabis prescribers and patients from any cannabis clinic in the UK.
The pharmacy will ask for a copy of the prescription straight away and will send a redacted copy to suppliers, in order to avoid any delays should they need to request a clinical need letter from the prescribing doctor.
For more information visit: www.botanicalhealthdispensary.co.uk or call the Leyes Lane Pharmacy team on 01926 859232
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