Part 1: Overview
There is a great deal to say about 2 recent publications; NHS Barriers to Prescribing Review and Draft NICE Guideline for CBMPs, and whilst there are areas for optimism, in the most part, both illustrate that we are not making anywhere near the kind of progress that patients should be able to expect from our “world-class” medicines approval and healthcare systems. When you consider the progress being made in other jurisdictions, “world-class” is not something the UK will be able to boast for much longer unless there are significant changes made across the board.
We have already seen some excellent responses to these publications from doctors, clinicians, patients and patient groups, very few of which have been positive. Our response is in 3 parts, with this first one being a general overview to be followed by a more detailed and systematic analysis of each publication.
As stakeholders in the NICE Guideline consultation and combined with additional feedback we receive from our soon to be announced Clinical Advisory Board, CPASS will be raising all of the issues highlighted along with suggestions for improvements and where we can offer help.
The two main issues are the continued reference to and reliance on the need for Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) and the focus on unevidenced fears about the dangers of THC being applied even when in very small doses.
Both of these, along with many other issues, demonstrates a serious misunderstanding of the unique complexities of cannabis-based biological extract medicines. That it has been nine months since the law changed and so little learning has been shown by our medical profession and systems is a grave concern that needs addressing now.
All in all it would seem that far from learning from the vast wealth of evidence and experience from around the world, as we were promised during the NICE Guideline scoping, it seems we have learned almost nothing and are, sadly for the 1.1 million patients already consuming cannabis effectively for their symptoms, doomed to repeat all the mistakes and those patents forced to continue to risk accessing their effective medicine from an unregulated and criminal market where quality and supply cannot be guaranteed.
Simply put, we can do better and we will detail some of the ways that we can in Parts 2 and 3 coming shortly:
Register your interest in CPASS here: http://cannpass.org/