Sapphire Medical Clinic is set to be the first clinic with specialist expertise in prescribing medical cannabis to open in Scotland.
The Aberdeen based clinic will prescribe medical cannabis for all conditions acknowledged to benefit from the treatment, and Sapphire Medical Clinics is in the process of securing registration.
The clinic will work on a ‘GP-referral’ basis. It will offer treatment across the full range of conditions for which it is approved. Sapphire’s first medical cannabis clinic in Harley Street, London is currently the only clinic to offer a full range of consultation services for all conditions in which medical cannabis has evidence of clinical efficacy.
The first medical cannabis clinic in Scotland
Managing Director of Sapphire Medical Clinics and Academic Lead Dr Mikael Sodergren said: “We are proud to be opening the first clinic in Scotland and have already seen first-hand how medical cannabis is transforming lives. That’s why we are delighted to be opening our doors to patients in Aberdeen.
“It means patients in Scotland will now have access to world-class experts in managing their condition, who also have expertise in medical cannabis. Medical cannabis is an exciting and rapidly developing field of medicine that could transform the lives of patients living with certain conditions. But prescription numbers have been low, held down by patients who are often in significant pain or with physical disabilities, being unable to travel the long distances to clinics.
“This in turn has meant building the clinical evidence on patients in the UK has also been slow. Our expansion will mean that we can greatly increase the numbers of patients that we see and then crucially accelerate the amount of evidence gathered”.
Lorna Bland an existing patient of Sapphire said: “I’ve suffered with Fibromyalgia and Degenerative Disc Disease for years. I was initially sceptical about trying medical cannabis. However, after much research I’ve been taking it for five months now and the improvement has been significant, with no side effects.
“I used to be able to only walk 1,000 steps a day at a push and life was very limited. Since securing my access to medical cannabis I can now do between 6,000 to 8,000 steps daily, walk my dog, do housework and socialise with friends. I’m realistic, it’s not a cure, but is effective enough to allow me to start living a more fulfilling life than I have for over 12 years”.
Dr Michael Platt, internationally recognised clinician and Sapphire lead on pain said: “It is estimated that over 1.4 million people across the UK take cannabis to help alleviate the symptoms of a medical condition.
“The overwhelming majority of these people will have felt they have had no option other than to resort to the black market, and many of them will be deeply troubled by having to do so. Sapphire operates to the highest standards of clinical governance so patients can be confident that any prescription of medical cannabis will be done as part of a rigorous and safe process. So, by opening the clinic in Aberdeen we will be giving patients a legal, safe and medically sound route to access what they need.
“The cost in some cases might be slightly higher, but the patient will have the benefit of peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that any prescription for medical cannabis will be of a medical grade product of consistent quality. They will also have the benefit of access to a supportive and knowledgeable clinical team”.