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The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Announces Its Conference Speakers

Published: Jan 22, 2020   
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The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) has today announced its first major cannabinoid research conference in collaboration with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

The two-day event will take place on the 16-17th April at BMA House in London and will draw together world leaders in basic and clinical cannabinoid research alongside the most senior policy makers in the UK. They will present a series of lectures covering the most cutting-edge medicinal cannabis research into the use of cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) in the treatment of pain, epilepsy, cancer, mental health, and neurodegeneration.

In an industry first, in attendance will be representatives from NHS (National Health Service), NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), DHSC (Department of Health and Social Care) and MHRA (The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency).

The keynote lectures will be delivered by Dr Keith Ridge, chief pharmaceutical officer, NHS England (NHSE), Dr Paul Chrisp, director, Centre for Guidelines, NICE, Roger Pertwee, Emeritus Professor at the University of Aberdeen and honorary fellow of the British Pharmacological Society (BPS), and Professor Sir John Tooke, executive chairman of Academic Health Solutions.

The goal of the event is to bring together policy makers within the health service and researchers from around the world to foster dialogue around the topic of CBMP research.

Medicinal cannabis was made legal in late 2018 and since then one CBMP, Epidiolex, has gotten approval from FDA and EMA but no CBMP has been granted a license to market in the UK by the MHRA.

Despite political and public pressure, the number of prescriptions for CBMPs is low. NICE have highlighted the fact this is due to a lack of clinical trial evidence demonstrating the efficacy, side effects, and cost benefits of CBMPs in various conditions. This conference aims to enable and facilitate such research by gathering industry, scientists, clinicians, and regulators together to align research strategies and consensus on research goals.

In a wider social context research undertaken by YouGov, commissioned by CMC, demonstrated that a staggering 1.4 million patients are currently treating themselves with illicit cannabis and spending an estimate £2.6 billion per year. This further demonstrates the need to progress research into CBMPs. A goal that can only be accomplished through bringing all stakeholders together in a professional and productive forum. 

“I am delighted that the CMC undertook to put an event like this together and have assembled such a great programme of national and international speakers,” said Professor Saoirse O'Sullivan, science lead at the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis.

“This will be an event not to be missed by basic and clinical researchers who are passionate about getting the right evidence to enable broader CBMP prescriptions. The event will also be an excellent education on the current evidence base for cannabinoids for those new to this exciting research area.”

“Realising the potential of medicinal cannabis relies on science to understand the molecular mechanisms involved and generate robust evidence of safety and efficacy,” said Professor Sir John Tooke, executive chairman of Academic Health Solutions.

“The CMC research conference will be an important opportunity to gauge the current status of the science relating to this promising but challenging therapeutic area.”

This article has been republished from material provided by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.


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