Over 200 medical professionals gather to attend medical cannabis educational event, highlighting need for more education a year after rescheduling

On 29th October 2019, over 200 GPs, hospital specialists and other stakeholders attended the ‘Medical Cannabis What UK Doctors Need to Know’ event which took place at the RSM (Royal Society of Medicine), hosted by Sapphire Medical Clinics and held in association with the RSM Pain Medicine Section. The event took place on the same day that Comres polling, commissioned by Sapphire Medical Clinics revealed that only 37% of UK GPs say they would consider referring their patient to a private medical cannabis clinic which prospectively captures adverse events, clinical efficacy and patient reported efficacy within a national registry.

Dr Mikael Sodergren, Managing Director of Sapphire Medical Clinic said,

‘Medical cannabis was rescheduled a year ago to allow prescribing in the UK. But during the year it has become clear that GPs are crying out for more education on medical cannabis, and rightly so. Polling figures like those released today show that GPs simply haven’t had the education they want and need on medical cannabis. This is a worrying and frustrating barrier for potential patients. At Sapphire we want to lead the way in providing GPs education to promote better understanding of medical cannabis. As clinicians, we all have one thing in common, and that is that we want to help our patients get better quicker. And if medical cannabis is to play its part in that it’s vital that GPs understand when and if it is appropriate to refer patients on.

President of the Royal Society of Medicine Pain Medicine Section, Dr Louise Clark who badged the event said:

‘There is an increasing amount of global evidence that medical cannabis may have a proper place on the treatment pathway for some patients suffering with chronic pain conditions. We are pleased to be hosting this event in association with Sapphire Medical Clinics as a valuable step in increasing awareness and education about this rapidly developing area’.

Dr Ruchira Karunadasa, a GP who attended the event said:

‘The fact is patients will come asking for medical cannabis and as GPs we are going to have to, at a minimum know how to signpost them to get more information. Otherwise the reality is patients may self-medicate. We shouldn’t fly blind and need more information to inform our practice, but it is really difficult to find’.

NB.

** ComRes interviewed 1,009 UK GPs online between the 10th and 27th September 2019. Data were weighted to be representative of UK GPs by region of work. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.