Insurance, pharmacy leaders grouse over drug ads

Insurance and pharmacy leaders in the Cayman Islands say advertisements promoting THC products at a local healthcare facility are unacceptable and highlight the need for updated laws regulating the advertising of any prescription drugs.

“It needs to be prescribed by a doctor and so for them to advertise it to the public like that is unethical,” Cayman Islands Pharmacy Council Chairman Donald McLean told the Cayman Compass.

Doctors Express Urgent Care had recently called customers and sent text messages to others promoting ‘Medical Cannabis THC Vapes now available in Cayman!’
The text messages read, “Hurry! While supplies last.”

“Last week’s text message blast ending with ‘Hurry! While supplies last’ made a mockery of the requirement for a prescription for medical cannabis,” Health Insurance Standing Committee Chair Annikki Brown said.

McLean says a grey area exists in the law when it comes to advertising prescription drugs. He says the council has been seeking updates to the law for years, which would make illegal any advertisement of prescription drugs.

The issue of vaping has come to the fore in the United States where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating hundreds of illnesses and at least six deaths believed to be associated with vaping and, specifically, THC vaping products.

“Unfortunately, a recent advertisement was published encouraging the purchase of THC vapes,” the Cayman Islands Medical and Dental Society said in a press release. “In addition, the CIMDS feels it is potentially dangerous and not in the best interest of the public to advertise or make available this product to the public at this time.”