Sapphire Medical Clinics, the first specialised medical cannabis clinic approved to see patients by the Care Quality Commission, has today launched a ground-breaking initiative to rapidly expand the evidence base for medical cannabis. The launch of the UK Medical Cannabis Registry will collect and analyse clinical information on patients taking medical cannabis treatments for all recognised eligible conditions. The Registry forms part of the Sapphire Real World Evidence Platform incorporating patient generated health data which also includes novel sensing and digital biomarkers. In recognition of their contribution to building the most comprehensive such dataset globally, the first thousand patients’ as part of the Sapphire Access Scheme are eligible for a significant reduction in the appointment cost. The UK Medical Cannabis Registry will also be free to contribute to for any patient in the UK with a prescription who wants to advance the science of medical cannabis.
Dr Mikael Sodergren, Managing Director and Academic Lead at Sapphire Clinics, said ‘We are very proud to launch our Real World Evidence Platform which ultimately aims to provide the data to allow patients to access cannabis-based medicines on the NHS for all the conditions in which there is proven clinical benefit. Whilst we are actively involved in setting up randomised controlled trials, our Real-World Evidence Platform will provide faster access to high quality data and will provide an unparalleled resource for clinicians, regulators and commercial stakeholders.’
Dr Michael Platt, Medical Director of Sapphire Clinics, added: ‘There are an estimated 1.4 million medical cannabis patients in the UK and with this initiative we hope to make it more affordable for them to access medication through a recognised clinic where we can carefully monitor their treatment. Alongside significant patient demand, there is a need to provide clinicians with a prescribing formulary based on the best data available whilst we wait for clinical trials.’
The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) welcomed this announcement. Dr Andy Yates, Pharmacy Lead at CMC commented ‘We are delighted to see initiatives such as this from the Sapphire Clinics be rolled out. The message from the UK and around the world is the same; HCPs, regulators, and patients want access to robust data on the use of cannabis medicines to provide the evidence to confidently use these medicines appropriately and safely. We encourage all patients and HCPs to contribute to this important database’.
Patients on the Sapphire Access scheme will also receive greater insight into how their treatment is affecting them via the Real World Evidence Platform. Lisa, 44 years old from Woking is a current patient at Sapphire and suffers from Chronic Pain. She commented on the launch saying ‘Contributing to the growing body of medical knowledge is really important to me as this will provide feedback and evidence that will be key to helping other people like me in the future. The reduced appointment costs that the Sapphire Access Scheme offers means that finding the money to address my healthcare needs is less of a concern’.
Source – ‘1.4 million people across the UK take medical cannabis’ https://www.thecmcuk.org/left-behind-the-scale-of-illegal-cannabis-use-for-medicinal-intent-in-the-uk