Pharmacy taskforce to create SOPs for managing medical marijuana

October 9, 2013

In hopes of establishing national standards for pharmacists, the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) has created a taskforce to investigate the pharmacological management of medical marijuana.

In hopes of establishing national standards for pharmacists, the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) has created a taskforce to investigate the pharmacological management of medical marijuana.

The taskforce of volunteers will be charged with developing a framework and determining key areas of integration with current specialty prescription therapy for patients with chronic diseases. It will also attempt to create practice parameters and other standards of care. Right now, there are no national standards of practice for the pharmaceutical management of medical marijuana.

In 22 states, marijuana is either legal or decriminalized. And in August, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would not challenge state marijuana laws.

"Medical marijuana has come to the forefront of patient care in many of the diseases that specialty pharmacists treat, including multiple sclerosis, cancer, HIV, and others," said NASP CEO Gary M. Cohen, BS Pharm, RPh. "More education for physicians, pharmacists, and patients is needed to ensure individuals receive the correct product with the correct efficacy and drug delivery system to fit their disease. As an organization, NASP believes that it has the responsibility, intellectual advisors, and obligation to take the lead on this emerging area of medical care."

The project will start at the upcoming NASP Strategic Business Exchange meeting, Oct. 14 through Oct. 16, in San Antonio.

"Essentially patients receive treatment from dispensaries, outside of their pharmaceutical regiment management, and we believe that a drug with such a broad scope should be managed effectively through the specialty pharmacist to ensure patient education and proper dispensing," Cohen said.

Additional information on the meeting is available on the NASP website