Drug Science, an independent, science-led drugs charity, is launching Project TWENTY21, a national medical cannabis pilot, with the aim of soon providing medical cannabis to patients in the UK.
Monday 24 June 2019: Drug Science is implementing Project TWENTY21 with the goal of providing medical cannabis to patients in the UK who may benefit from it. In the first instance, the Pilot will be targeting the following patients and situations, specifically focusing on times in which alternative treatment has failed:
- Chronic pain;
- PTSD, with a focus on the veteran community;
- Multiple sclerosis;
- Tourette’s syndrome;
- Prison populations as a harm reduction strategy; and
- Cannabis use disorder and substance use disorder as a harm reduction strategy.
Learn about Project TWENTY21
To achieve this goal, Project TWENTY21 will develop a body of evidence using a real-world data registry which documents the efficacy, safety, QALY and patient reported outcomes in those prescribed medical cannabis.
This data will then be used to support applications to health authorities in the expectation that there will soon be a new regulatory system for medical cannabis in the UK.
Drug Science is in the final stages of appointing a clinician and management team for Project TWENTY21, led by current CEO David Badcock.
Drug Science Chair Prof David Nutt FMedSci said: “Cannabis was a medicine in the UK for over a century until 1971 when it was banned for political reasons. Since then hundreds of thousands of patients have been forced to break the law to get a treatment that most find preferable to their previous prescription medicines.
“Despite the UK making cannabis a medicine in November 2018 there have as yet been only a handful of prescriptions on the NHS. To rectify this impasse Drug Science has joined forces with the United Patients Alliance, leading academics and several medical cannabis producers to open up a treatment network for up to 20,000 patients.
“This will allow patients to get vital therapy without breaking the law. It will also provide a solid clinical database from which experience of and confidence in, medical cannabis prescribing will develop, providing a foundation for other medical prescribers to build on.”
The goal of providing medical cannabis to patients
United Patient Alliance Director and Founder, Clarke French said: “The United Patients Alliance is delighted to partner with Drug Science on project Twenty21. We believe it is a vital initiative.
“Patients in the United Kingdom deserve evidence-based policy and access to cannabis medicines on the NHS. Project Twenty21 will provide a growing body of evidence, to enable cannabis medicines to be accessed by the patients who desperately need it.”
Althea Chief Medical Officer Dr Robert Pawinski said: “Althea is proud to be able to provide the product as part of the national pilot, and resources to ensure patient access. We believe the pilot program will yield valuable data that can then be used to further bolster the case for medical cannabis use and inform public health and stakeholder decisions.”
Alta-Flora CEO Gavin Sathianathan said: “Alta Flora is proud and delighted to support Drug Science and the United Patients Alliance in this vital new initiative to harness the real-world experience of thousands of patients in order to improve the system for prescribing medical cannabis in the UK.”
Rob Jones, CEO from Cannuba said: “Cannuba are very excited to be part of this policy changing project.”
About Drug Science
Founded in 2010 by Professor David Nutt, Drug Science is the only completely independent, science-led drugs charity, uniquely bringing together leading drugs experts from a wide range of specialisms to carry out ground-breaking original research into drug harms and effects.
Its highly cited papers on all aspects of drug effects and harms attract global coverage and considerable public interest. Drug Science reduces the harms of drugs to the public through providing objective information on drug effects, harms and potential medical uses to the public, professionals and decision makers.