New Zealand Medical Cannabis Survey Results

GP medical cannabis survey - New Zealand
Image: Helius Therapeutics

A survey of New Zealand medical professionals’ views on medicinal cannabis shows an increasing interest from patients and the willingness of GPs to prescribe products.

The survey of 1,091 medical professionals, carried out by Horizon Research on behalf of Helius Therapeutics, found 63% of all GPs and 77% of pharmacists surveyed had fielded enquiries about medicinal cannabis products in the previous 12 months.

89% those able to prescribe cannabis medicines said they would do so for one or more of 20 medical conditions – assuming they had enough information.

  • 61% for chronic pain
  • 59% for cancer
  • 47% for multiple sclerosis
  • 42% for radiation/chemotherapy side effects
  • 40% for epilepsy
  • 34% for fibromyalgia
  • 33% for muscular dystrophy
  • 32% for Parkinson’s disease
  • 29% for arthritis
  • 22% for anxiety
  • 22% for sleep disorders
  • 21% for Tourette syndrome
  • 20% for HIV/AIDs
  • 19% for Alzheimer’s disease
  • 19% for gastro-intestinal disorders
  • 18% for anorexia
  • 18% for dementia
  • 13% for glaucoma
  • 9% for osteoporosis
  • 7% for diabetes
  • 13% for another condition

On the issue of information, here’s how medical professionals felt about their medical cannabis knowledge.

  • 6% very well informed
  • 18% well enough informed
  • 42% somewhat informed
  • 13% somewhat uninformed
  • 14% poorly informed
  • 7% very poorly informed

“It’s those who are well-informed that are the most enthusiastic about medicinal cannabis products coming to market,” said Paul Manning, Executive Director of Helius Therapeutics. “Understandably, many New Zealand medical professionals just haven’t had the exposure to cannabinoid medicines, so information and education for doctors, in particular, will be critical to patient accessibility.”

There’s certainly plenty of support for medical cannabis among New Zealand’s citizens and it appears pharmacies are also well and truly on board. According to the survey results, 100% of pharmacy owners are willing to stock cannabis products.

New Zealand’s Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill was passed late last year and regulations, licensing rules and quality standards are to be set this year.

Of course, all this positivity regarding medical cannabis bodes well for Helius Therapeutics, which is currently New Zealand’s largest licensed medicinal cannabis company. The firm was granted a cultivation license by the New Zealand Ministry of Health last year.