You, Your Drugs, and the Law: Gabapentinoids and medicinal cannabis

Episode 114,  Jun 06, 2019, 09:20 AM

How do drugs taken to manage pain fit within the legal framework of controlled substances?

This edition of Airing Pain is funded by Foundation Scotland.

On 1 April 2019 pregabalin and gabapentin, drugs recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the management of neuropathic pain, were re-classified as class-C controlled substances. This change means it is illegal to possess pregabalin and gabapentin without a prescription, and illegal to supply or sell them to others, as well as restricting the ease with which doctors and pharmacists can prescribe and dispense them.

Also in this edition of Airing Pain, medicinal cannabis: Is it safe? Does it work for pain? Is it legal? Where do people who use these drugs to manage their chronic pain, now stand within UK law?


  • Blair Smith, Consultant in Pain Medicine at NHS Tayside, and National Lead Clinician for Chronic Pain in Scotland.
  • Steve Alexander, Associate Professor in Molecular Pharmacology at Nottingham University
  • Cameron Rashide, who lives with neuropathic pain.