In light of the Secretary of State’s announcement on faster access to medical cannabis, Sapphire Medical Clinics and Dendrite Clinical Systems have today launch of the UK’s first comprehensive medical cannabis patient registry.

Responding to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock’s calls for ‘evidence using trials in the UK in order to accelerate understanding of how medicinal cannabis can benefit patients.’ The UK Medical Cannabis Registry will be the first of its kind covering all conditions for which there is evidence of clinical efficacy of medical cannabis. Its formation means that real world evidence, cited as a key barrier to wider patient prescriptions by NHS England, will now be available on request to the medical community for analysis.

In October 2019, Sapphire Medical Clinics became the first UK clinic to be granted a Care Quality Commission license to prescribe medicinal cannabis. The national registry was presented by Sapphire’s Managing Director to the Secretary of State at the industry meeting on removing barriers to accessing medical cannabis under prescription.

Patients and policymakers will benefit from the increased body of evidence, driving greater confidence and clinically appropriate access to medical cannabis. The data will greatly contribute to the body of clinical evidence providing an invaluable resource to guide health policy for the NHS and other health systems. The move will help guide practice and monitor the safety profile until outcomes from randomised controlled trials are published, which could take years.

Managing Director of Sapphire Clinics, Dr Mikael Sodergren said:

‘’Today’s announcement should bring hope to patients across the UK who have been prevented from accessing medical cannabis prescriptions from specialists who want to see the evidence base significantly developed before considering prescribing. What we are announcing today is that for the first-time robust evidence on outcomes and clear insights into risk of side effects will be available. We are already seeing first-hand how much medical cannabis is transforming our patients lives. Capturing the data in this way means we are able to make the most powerful case to the NHS and other bodies that medical cannabis should be one of the treatments considered for patients with conditions such as chronic pain and anxiety’’.

Medical Director of Sapphire Medical Clinics, Dr Mike Platt added:

“It is estimated that over 1.4 million people across the UK take cannabis to help alleviate the symptoms of a medical condition. Many of these people will feel they have no other option than to resort to the black market. Patients will now have the assurance of knowing that there is a legal, safe and medically sound route to access what they need. And now, not only that, but patients that we assess will now be part of a hugely significant initiative that will ensure that future generations have greater access to medical cannabis products. Patient will have the benefit of peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that any prescription for medical cannabis will be of a medical grade product of consistent quality”.

Dr Peter Walton, Managing Director of Dendrite Clinical Systems said:

“We need more evidence about the efficacy of medicinal cannabis and this national registry will be a major contribution to meet that need.”

“By collecting and recording data on cannabis-based medicinal products, researchers from Sapphire Medical Clinics will be able to determine the how effective medicinal cannabis use is for a variety of life-changing and debilitating conditions.”

References:

1. NHS England and NHS Improvement: ‘Barriers to accessing cannabis-based products for medicinal use on NHS prescription – Findings and Recommendations’ (https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/barriers-accessing-cannabis-based-products-nhs-prescription.pdf) August 2019

2. The British Pain Society position statement on the use of medical cannabis and cannabis-based products in the management of chronic pain (https://www.britishpainsociety.org/static/uploads/resources/files/BPS_position_statement_25_11_19.pdf) November 2019