By Emily Ledger
The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) has set out a proposal for a new Government body. The proposed body (the Cannabinoid Clinical Trials Authority) would enable the prescription and commission of national clinical assessments of Cannabis Based Medicinal Products (CBMP).
The proposal follows a number of studies, highlighting the possible health benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids. It also follows the release of the CMC’s report – “CBD in the UK”; this is thought tho be the most extensive review of the industry to date.
The proposal draws from existing evidence from Denmark, Australia and New York State. However, the organisation stresses the need for patients and doctors in the UK require their own tailored policy.
What does the proposal cover?
Above all, the proposal highlights the inefficiencies of the current lack of research into CMBPs in the UK. Additionally, it covers the necessary responsibilities of the proposed body, and suggested trial methods.
The CMC state that a weak evidence base has led to limited prescriptions being supplied to patients, in spite of the medicinal cannabis reform of 2018. It claims that some of these patients are increasingly resorting to ‘Street Cannabis’ and ‘Medical Tourism’, as a result.
The policy also draws attention to the number of high-profile calls which has led to CMBPs being placed on the national agenda. Despite this, the CMC claims that the current time frame for patient access is unacceptable.
In their report “CBD in the UK”, the CMC count the growing popularity of CBD products in the UK as another factor in the need for modernised regulation and research.
The CMC hopes that the appointment of a new governing body would facilitate world-leading data through cannabinoid clinical trials. Furthermore, this would inform both clinical and regulatory guidelines in the future.
The proposal suggests that funding for the proposed measures will be met through both the involvement of industry partners, and the deployment of NHS, CCG and NIHR budgets.
The policy, is designed to place the UK as a “world leader in safe, knowledge-based cannabinoid prescribing practise.”
What do the Experts say?
Co-Author Dr. Daniel Couch emphasises that trials “must be in keeping with the UK’s reputation for high quality research and medicines safety. These proposals should be central to the new debate about creating a medicinal cannabis regime in the UK.”
Dr. David Horn, CMC Medical Lead and Co-Author of the proposal, said:
“The medicinal cannabis policy put in place on 1 November 2018 raised expectations that have not been met. Whilst no country has yet been able to permit access to CBMPs without establishing a new regulatory framework, our proposals offer a safe, measured and accelerated approach within existing NHS paradigm.”
The full CMC proposal can be found on the CMC website.