The Italian pharmacist Dr Marco Ternelli received so many requests from doctors and patients about how to prescribe medicinal cannabis that he decided to put all the information together. Prescribing in Italy is not an easy matter. Doctors have little knowledge, do not know how to dose cannabis, and there are complicated forms a doctor should fill in to prescribe.
Dr Ternelli runs a pharmacy in Bibbiano, a small town approximately 70 kilometres northwest of Bologna. In 2006, he set up his pharmacy and started compounding his own medication (compounding pharmacy) and sharing his knowledge and experience with patients and doctors in the Italian blog farmagalenica.it. “When medicinal cannabis became legal in Italy, I simply kept doing what I was already doing, with special attention to medicinal cannabis. After I attended the Bedrocan Master Class in 2014, I started to write technical articles about medicinal cannabis, and developed compounding techniques in my pharmacy laboratory. Apart from pro-legalisation websites, there was hardly any information about the use of medicinal cannabis aimed at health professionals at that time.” Dr Ternelli filled the gap.
By now his clients come from all over Italy, albeit mainly from north and central Italy. For over three years, he saw 10,000 to 15,000 prescriptions for medicinal cannabis (oils, capsules, suppositories, eye drops and creams) pass through his hands for the most wide ranging conditions. He incorporated all those data in a comprehensive brochure (only available in Italian). It contains an overview of all the cannabis prescriptions he has handled over the years. ”It is a sort of personal statistics I decided to share. Reporting the strains prescribed by Italian doctors and what conditions they prescribe them for.”
Besides doctors, other pharmacists and patients benefit from the information in his blog. Dr Ternelli continued “Pharmacies and pharmacists understand how a prescription for medicinal cannabis has to be completed by doctors to be accepted and for them to be permitted to proceed with the compounding preparation. In other words, what pharmacists need to check to consider the prescription as valid.”