UK – NICE highlights need for more cannabis-based research

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published its new draft recommendations on the use of cannabis-based medicinal products, following a comprehensive evaluation of their clinical and cost-effectiveness.

The organisation says that the fast-tracked guidance follows the re-classification of these products last year to allow specialist doctors to ‘prescribe them where the clinical needs of patients cannot be met by licensed medicines.’

The guidance is open for public consultation until 5 September 2019, and considers the use of these products for people with intractable nausea and vomiting as a result of chemotherapy, chronic pain, spasticity, and severe treatment-resistant epilepsy.

In the same vein, NHS England has published a review aimed at assessing the barriers to prescribing cannabis-based medicinal products where it is safe and clinically appropriate.

Medical cannabis supporting clinicians have said that the guidance is “welcome”, as they are “sensible, reasonable and set out clearly what steps we can and must take to seamlessly integrate medical cannabis into the patient treatment pathway”, according to Dr Michael Platt of Sapphire Medical…