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Medical cannabis

Davos report highlights UK doctors' fears around medical cannabis prescribing

UK-based specialist doctors may be reluctant to prescribe medical cannabis because there is a lack of “infrastructure to support them should something go wrong”, the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting has heard.

The claim is made in the 4th European Cannabis Report, produced by business analysts Prohibition Partners and launched during a Cannabis Conclave — held in Davos, Switzerland, on 24 January 2019.

The report says that NHS doctors have had little guidance to support them in the prescribing of medical cannabis, and that the guidance that does exist is regarded by some politicians as overly restrictive.

In a press release accompanying the report, Stephen Murphy, co-founder of Prohibition Partners, said: “A lack of educational infrastructure and prohibitive costs are impeding UK patient access to potentially transformative cannabis medicines … these factors have slowed medicinal cannabis use and pushed patients into the black market.”

However, the firm is optimistic about the future of the market for medical cannabis in the UK. Although it suggests that “inaccessibility to legal cannabis will slow growth in the short term”, it predicts that by 2028 the annual market value for medical cannabis in the UK will be around £8.8bn per annum.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206057

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