More research is needed to justify use of ‘medicinal’ cannabis: UK agencies

A con­cert­ed cam­paign to un­lock the use of cannabis to treat se­vere child­hood epilep­sy prompt­ed the British au­thor­i­ties last year to sanc­tion its use in cer­tain pa­tients, when oth­er med­i­cines have failed, af­ter con­sul­ta­tion with a spe­cial­ist doc­tor. On Thurs­day, NHS Eng­land and cost-ef­fec­tive­ness watch­dog NICE un­veiled their pre­lim­i­nary rec­om­men­da­tions on the adop­tion of cannabis-de­rived med­i­cines for a va­ri­ety of con­di­tions. In short, they want more re­search to jus­ti­fy the med­ical use of cannabis.

NHS Eng­land is­sued a re­view that un­der­scored a pauci­ty of long-term safe­ty and ef­fi­ca­cy of med­i­c­i­nal cannabis, ac­knowl­edg­ing that clin­i­cians have found that some pa­tients with se­vere treat­ment-re­sis­tant epilep­sy do re­spond to cannabis-based ther­a­py and that ob­ser­va­tion­al da­ta sug­gest cannabis ther­a­py can di­min­ish seizure fre­quen­cy, re­sult­ing in few­er trips to emer­gency rooms and a bet­ter qual­i­ty of life.

While med­i­c­i­nal cannabis was be­ing con­sid­ered on a case-by-case ba­sis since last No­vem­ber, the lack of ran­dom­ized con­trol tri­al

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