Outcomes of first cohort of medical cannabis patients in the UK published in prestigious journal

Outcomes of first cohort of medical cannabis patients in the UK published in prestigious journal

Significant improvements in anxiety, pain and sleep for medical cannabis patients

The leading international medical journal “Neuropsychopharmacology Reports” has published the clinical outcomes of the first cohort of patients captured in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry (the “Registry”)1. These patients are amongst the first to be prescribed this treatment in the UK since legalisation of cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) on prescription in November 2018.

The UK Medical Cannabis Registry is the first such database in the UK and has been set up by clinicians at Sapphire Medical Clinics (“Sapphire Medical”), a multi-award-winning medical cannabis clinic, and is open to all UK patients. Analysis of patient-reported outcome measures following treatment with CBMPs in this study found statistically significant improvements in anxiety, pain and sleep quality scores as well as general quality of life at 1- and 3-months following treatment.

The study analysed clinical outcomes of the first 129 patients enrolled in the Registry and found that CBMPs were well tolerated with a side effect rate of 24 per 100 patients which compares favourably to painkillers such as morphine or codeine.

The UK Medical Cannabis Registry records patient‐reported outcome measures (PROMs), clinical effectiveness measures, and adverse event (side effect) questionnaires which are remotely administered to patients through an online web‐based platform at baseline, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and then 6 monthly intervals thereafter. This forms part of the Real-World Evidence platform which now includes over 2,000 patients.

Dr Simon Erridge, Head of Research and Access at Sapphire Medical commented: “We are very pleased to see the first peer reviewed publication of outcomes of medical cannabis patients since legalisation in print, which suggests that these treatments are safe and well tolerated in this patient group. By placing data collection at the heart of our clinical processes we hope to contribute to the evidence base and thereby allow more patients to access these treatments on the NHS.”

Dr Mikael Sodergren, Managing Director and Academic Lead at Sapphire Medical added: “It has been great to see that patients at Sapphire overwhelmingly welcome contributing to this kind of data collection which will advance our understanding of the benefits of medical cannabis treatment. The feedback that we received is that patients also really like monitoring their own response to treatment, so we are pleased to be able to enrol all our patients in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry. Whilst the findings of this study are encouraging, they have to be treated with caution given the limited scope of this initial analysis which does not have a placebo or active comparator.”

Patient Laura Drummond is prescribed medical cannabis for a persistent pain condition fibromyalgia, she is 40 years old and lives in Hampshire. Laura commented on being part of the Registry: “I’ve been a medical cannabis patient at Sapphire Medical Clinics for over a year now and love the idea of contributing to the Registry and growing evidence which no doubt will help many others in the future. My journey with treatment has reduced my pain but more significantly, improved my sleep and the ability to enjoy quality time with my young daughter.”

1 Full free access available here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/npr2.12183