How will Spectrum aka Canopy manage the UK Tory party on this issue in the time of Brexit . We will watch from the sidelines.
Here’s the press release…Spectrum Cannabis, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED)(NYSE: CGC), joins UK patients, researchers and clinicians in applauding today’s first prescriptions of medicinal cannabis. From today, patients with exceptional clinical need in England, Wales and Scotland will be prescribed cannabis-based medicines by specialist clinicians for the first time.
This is a bold first step, but there is still work to be done to ensure that patients in the UK have reasonable access to medical cannabis. As a global medical cannabis business Spectrum Cannabis operates within a number of federal frameworks. Across the world, the countries that incorporate medical cannabis into their existing healthcare systems are best able to serve patients who historically have struggled to get access to cannabis for their own treatment or the treatment of a loved one. In the UK, this means all doctors should be able to prescribe medical cannabis when they deem it necessary.
In its home jurisdiction of Canada, Spectrum Cannabis is proud to offer accredited, ethics-approved cannabis education to physicians in order to build knowledge and capacity in the medical community and has seen an increased understanding among both patients and healthcare practitioners surrounding the place of cannabis in medical care. This is a role needed in earnest in the UK over the coming months and years.
“Today is a landmark day for patients living with severe debilitating conditions here in the UK who will now be able to be use cannabis-based medicinal products as prescribed by their specialist clinician,” said Dr Mark Ware, Chief Medical Officer, Canopy Growth Corporation. “This is accompanied by a need to educate specialists on the safe use of cannabis-based medicines while full guidance is being developed.”
UK specialist clinicians can now freely prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products for patients with exceptional clinical need by relying on their own expertise rather than having to apply for a special license.
“The UK’s rescheduling of cannabis-based medicine has come about from a groundswell of patient need but is rooted in scientific evidence and experience. There is a significant real-world experience and clinical evidence pointing to the fact that cannabis-based medicines can be safe and effective treatments for some patients with unmet clinical needs, for instance in the areas of cancer pain and chemotherapy induced nausea & vomiting,” said Professor Marie Fallon of The University of Edinburgh.
Spectrum Cannabis anticipates high unmet need for cannabis-based medicinal products in the UK. Following the introduction of legislation for access to medical cannabis in Germany in 2017, prescriptions grew from 1,000 to nearly 80,000 prescriptions in the first half of 2018. In Canada, the patient base in the federal system has grown from 35,000 in 2013 to approximately 350,000 today. In 2016 the End Our Pain campaign estimated that 1m people across the UK already rely on cannabis for medical reasons.
Spectrum Cannabis looks forward to ongoing discussions with UK patients, researchers, clinicians and policy makers in the coming weeks and months.