20 months after cannabis products for medical use were legalized in the UK, attitudes towards their use are still very skeptical, researchers say
Attitudes towards medicinal cannabis products must change with much more appropriate use of these products to help relieve pain in patients, suggests research published in the journal BMJ Open.
Researchers have found that hundreds of thousands of UK patients self-administer illegal cannabis products for medical use, as much of the medical and pharmaceutical professions have yet to adopt and prescribe legal cannabis products. of cannabis to their patients.
In November 2018, when the UK legalized cannabis products for medical use (CBPM), most people assumed that these products would be made available to patients immediately, but this did not happen. .
Since then, almost no NHS prescriptions have been issued and less than 1 products have been made available by private suppliers at a cost of at least £ 000 per month.
As a result, some parents of children with severe epilepsy continue to travel abroad to provide their children with access to the only treatment that has been shown to be effective for their disease, namely cannabinoid medications.
Furthermore, it is estimated that the vast majority of the roughly 1,4 million medical cannabis users source their supplies from the black market with its issues of illegality, quality, content and provenance unknown.
This is despite the fact that there is substantial evidence for the efficacy of medicinal cannabis products in many disorders, as the review by the United States National Academy of Sciences showed in 2017.
Researchers at Imperial College London, London School of Economics and Drug Science (formerly known as the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs), therefore sought to understand why the UK was lagging behind to so many other countries that have also legalized cannabis for medical use.
They consulted with parents and patients, prescribers, pharmacists and policy makers. They found that there appeared to be a series of distinct prescribing barriers that needed to be overcome in order to improve patient access to medical cannabis in the UK.
These include concerns about the perceived lack of scientific evidence, but the researchers said those concerns were misplaced because many patient-centered approaches, including patient-reported outcomes, pharmacoepidemiology (study of uses and drug effects) and single patient trials could be applied.