Report reveals why many UK doctors are not prescribing medical cannabis

Report reveals why many UK doctors are not prescribing medical cannabis
eurpa

A new report gives an insight into the multitude of challenges preventing more UK clinicians from prescribing cannabis medicines. Cannabis must be treated the same as any other medication if we want to see mainstream prescribing in the UK, say doctors in a landmark report out today. Known Unknowns of Medical Cannabis, published by drug reform agency Volteface, brings together the perspectives of dozens of clinicians in order to identify the key issues preventing more widespread prescribing of cannabis.  It is the first time the views of specialist consultants have been highlighted in such a way since the law changed to allow them to prescribe cannabis for medicinal purposes in November 2018.  More than 40,000 specialist clinicians are eligible to prescribe cannabis across the UK, but according to the report, only around 100 (0.25%) are actively doing so.  As these doctors are the ‘gatekeepers’ to expanding access to cannabis-based medicines, supporting them to prescribe is crucial for more patients to be able to benefit from the treatment.  Volteface interviewed over 40 of those working in a range of specialisms, including pain, psychiatry, gastroenterology, rheumatology and neurology in order to better understand their perceptions of medical cannabis. A number of issues including lack of governance, insufficient high quality evidence and doctors not being educated or supported in prescribing were identified. Dr Steve Hajioff (left) Arjun Rajyagor (second right) and Dr Mark Smith (right) of Sana Healthcare and Katya Kowalski, Volteface launch the report in Parliament. High quality evidence  Most of the doctors interviewed expressed an interest in prescribing, however, it is clear from the report that they want cannabis to be treated the same as any other new medication. This means meeting the required evidential and regulatory standards, such as undergoing randomised control trials (RCTs), which are widely regarded as the ‘gold standard’ of scientific…

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