One month on: medical cannabis is still taboo despite change in law11 Dec 2018
Restrictive guidelines have led many to buy CBD products online, leading to a boom in production with many products going to market without sufficient quality control.
On 1 November, the UK legalised the use of medical cannabis on prescription, but, just over one month on, medical professionals are still reluctant to prescribe the drug and restrictive guidelines have left families in need disappointed and seeking help elsewhere.
The change in legislation has granted accessibility to cannabis-derived medicines for exceptional cases as seen in the high profile stories of Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley, but despite the new rules being a landmark move for UK medicine, experts argue it's not straightforward as not everyone will be granted a licence.
Under the new regulations, only specialist doctors are able to prescribe medical cannabis and those who want to obtain CBD oil for medical purposes have to apply for a licence under a temporary approval panel. Clinicians wanting to prescribe the drug have to prove exceptional clinical circumstances and need to demonstrate that there is no other lawful medicinal product that meets the specific needs of the patient.
Some 250,000 people currently use the treatment method, a number which has doubled in the last year, according to Cannabis Trades Association UK, but due to limited accessibility those in need are turning to alternative CBD oil products available on the free market.
The explosion in demand has led to huge levels of production with many companies doing so without the attention to detail or understanding required to make a product that is destined for UK consumption.
Henry Vincenty, CEO of organic CBD oil producer, Endoca, comments: “Although the change in legislation is something to celebrate, education about CBD products and the plant are still severely lacking.
“Higher demand for CBD means products which have not been standardised or have not undertaken quality testing are coming to market. What many consumers do not know is that hemp and cannabis plants are bioremediators, meaning they absorb all compounds present in the soil they are grown in - including all pesticides and heavy metals. If not quality tested and produced organically, some products can be harmful to our bodies.”
Research has found that CBD extracts can help with conditions including multiple sclerosis and nausea from cancer treatment, but most notably CBD has made huge strides with the treatment of epilepsy. There are currently 600,000 people in the UK living with epilepsy with approximately 1,000 dying from intense seizures every year. The use of CBD medicine can reduce seizures by around 50%, granting a longer and better-quality life for those affected.
Vincenty continues: “Whilst the change in UK legislation is a step in the right direction, changing the law is only half the battle. Currently there are still children and families suffering needlessly due to the denial of access.”
How real-world data can revolutionise drug development
9 Aug 2019
Utilising the current data environment and its data pools for the benefit of advancing research.Read more
Colorcon to incorporate TruTag's edible 'optical barcodes' in tablet film coatings
6 Aug 2019
The benefits of this innovation include the ability to instantly and unequivocally authenticate products when suspect events.Read more
Mylan and Pfizer create new global pharma company
29 Jul 2019
The transaction will allow the new company to expand the geographic reach of Mylan's existing broad product portfolio and future pipeline.Read more
GSK opens new continuous manufacturing facilities in Singapore
11 Jul 2019
Opening of continuous manufacturing facilities and expansion of production building will boost capabilities to accelerate the supply of new breakthrough medicines to patients globally.Read more
Catalent extends global commercial spray drying capabilities in Europe
9 Jul 2019
Company's customers to have immediate access to Niro PSD2 and PSD4 spray driers, which are supported by dedicated clean area facilities for both solvent and aqueous processing of potent or non-potent drug formulations.Read more
Inaugural Bio Integrates conference highlights industry's inefficiency in developing products
18 Jun 2019
Industry leaders give voice to issues and trends shaping the biotech sector, including the importance of collaboration.Read more
Lessons learned from early EU FMD adopters
13 May 2019
Data exchange, investment costs, resources and hardware identified as some of the biggest challenges.Read more
Brexit's trick or treat on patient safety
29 Apr 2019
Despite a delayed Brexit, unpredictability adds further complications to the EU FMD regulation.Read more
Surge of Indian biosimilars market forecast in 2019
22 Apr 2019
India predicted to be one of the world’s ‘fastest growing bio’ hubs in 2019, fuelled by new biosimilars production.Read more
RAPS on delayed Brexit
26 Mar 2019
The post-Brexit regulatory environment continues to weigh heavily on the minds of regulatory professionals.Read more
Are you a supplier
Here's what we can do for you
- Generate quality leads for your business
- Stay visible for 365 days of the year
- Receive product inquiries and respond to meeting requests directly
- Improve company online presence through Search Engine Optimisation