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Specialist doctors to legally prescribe cannabis-based medicines

Specialist doctors to legally prescribe cannabis-based medicines

Following a clinical review, the Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced that specialist doctors will be able to legally prescribe some cannabis-based medicines by the autumn this year.

Members of the EB Community in many countries around the world have reported that cannabis can reduce the impact of pain and itch caused by EB. Existing treatments for these symptoms have a limited effect.

Could cannabinoid-based medicines be used to treat EB?

To progress our mission to improve the quality of life for people suffering from EB, in 2017 DEBRA UK chose to fund an international clinical trial to evaluate the impact of cannabinoids (a component of the cannabis plant) as a potential treatment for the debilitating pain and itch caused by EB.

DEBRA CEO Ben Merrett said, “We welcome the government’s decision to legalise some forms of medicinal cannabis in a safe and controlled way. The EB Community suffers levels of pain that are unimaginable and although the daily use of powerful opiates can give some short term relief, they may also have distressing side effects. It’s the right time for DEBRA to be investigating the benefits of cannabinoids that many patients suffering from EB worldwide have privately talked about for many years. I would like to thank all our donors who have made this clinical trial a possibility.”

What research is DEBRA funding?

There is promising anecdotal evidence to suggest that some compounds within cannabis can help relieve these symptoms and may be a much more effective treatment than the opioids and anti-inflammatories presently often prescribed.

We are funding research taking place right now to gather the scientific evidence needed to confirm whether cannabis-based medicines could help alleviate the constant pain and chronic itching caused by EB.

The research we are funding, which is taking place in the Netherlands where the use of cannabis is legal, is a first step towards making a safe and effective form of cannabis-based pain and itch relief available to people suffering from EB.

If successful, the trial could lead to medical grade cannabis oil to be made available to people suffering from EB in the UK and in other countries around the world, significantly improving the quality of life for people suffering from the condition.

Give now to help fund research like this and provide care and support to the EB Community to #FightEB.

The government is legalising medicinal cannabis. 

The clinical review, which took place last month, concluded that there is evidence that some forms of medicinal cannabis have therapeutic benefits for some conditions.

Following this, and after receiving advice from two sets of independent advisers, the Home Secretary has made the decision to reclassify (or “reschedule”) some cannabis derived products, making it easier to prescribe some cannabis based medicine for those with an “exceptional clinical need”.

Read the government’s full statement here.

Why do we need further research into the use of CBMs?

Further research is still required to determine how effective cannabis-based medicine (CBM) is in treating the pain and itch caused by EB, what the optimum dosage could be for any potential therapy and what side effects need to be considered.

Read our Q and A on the research here.

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