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Croatia

Source: Veronika Rasic

Last update: 1 June 2016

Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids

After the amendment of the law in October 2015 (NN 107/15) allowing the prescription of medicines containing THC, where is Croatia now?

After more than 6 months there has been no significant change in the real situation for doctors and patients.  Croatia is waiting for different government institutions and professional organizations to step-up and define the practical issues surrounding cannabinoid use.  The law allows family doctors (GP) to prescribe a drug/substance/flos containing THC only with the prior recommendation of a specialist neurologist, oncologist, paediatrician or specialist in infectious disease.  The maximum allowed dose is 7.5 grams THC per month for only four indications: symptoms of cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and AIDS.  

Currently there are no medicines with THC available in Croatian pharmacies.  The small number of patients that have gotten access to cannabinoid medicines have had the prescription imported from abroad.  The patients have to cover all of the costs of this process which is quite costly for the average citizen.  

Doctors feel they lack the knowledge and experience to use this kind of therapy in treating their patients.  The lack of guidelines or information from official institutions also slows the introduction of this treatment.   There is no designated office or institution to provide information or answer questions about this issue. 

There was mention of Imunološki zavod (Department of immunology, http://www.imz.hr/proizvodi/medicinski-kanabis/) being appointed to manage cannabis and extracts as the designated government body for further distribution.   To date there have been no serious developments.  

The way that most patients access cannabis is unfortunately still through illegal means.  Produces and distributers of cannabis continue to be prosecuted in accordance to the illegal drug laws.  

 

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