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Medical cannabis education platform showcased by RCP

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MedCanHub will help clinicians prescribe unlicensed cannabis medicines

A groundbreaking education platform, aimed at reducing barriers of access to cannabis based medicines in the UK has been showcased by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP). 

Developed by online chronic pain clinic Cellen, MedCanHub aims to support clinicians to prescribe unlicensed cannabis based medicines to patients in the UK.

The initiative was selected as one of 50 abstracts to present in the COVID-19 category at Royal College of Physicians (RCP) Medicine 2021, international conference on 7 – 8 January, 2021.

Throughout the pandemic, the team at Cellen has been working to address barriers to access for patients that require prescription cannabinoid-based medicines.

The conference celebrates groundbreaking medical developments, which are focused on ways to deliver world-class healthcare.

The MedCanHub platform was developed to increase the proficiency and confidence of doctors to prescribe, with the aim of making UK unlicensed cannabis based medical products prescriptions as transparent and accessible as possible. 

Cannabis was legalised for medical use in the UK in 2018, but there are still several barriers to access for patients that require prescription cannabinoid-based medicines for a variety of conditions. 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this access problem, with border crossing and import supply chains facing disruptions. 

Reports investigating the barriers to accessing these medicines on the NHS list the lack of knowledge and education of cannabis use and its benefits, as one of the main problems. 

The MedCanHub supports clinicians across the entire prescribing process. 

Prior to consultation it describes the process to acquire a controlled drug private prescriber number and provides a checklist of factors for which cannabis based medical treatment might be withheld.

For consultation support, the team developed a literature review of validated dosage of THC and CBD, a checklist of information to deliver to patients, a list of cannabis oils available in the UK, a treatment planner creation tool, and a sample prescription. 

The post-consultation support provided by the platform includes tools to generate CQC compliant letters, sending a prescription and how to report drug incidents to the MHRA.

Links to online training, regulations and guidelines are also included.

Dr Benjamin Viaris de Lesegno, chief medical officer and co-founder of Cellen, commented: “Cellen is proud to be actively engaged in a variety of research projects, and this January we were able to showcase some of our latest work at this International conference.

At Cellen, we have been working tremendously hard to care for patients with pain during the COVID-19 pandemic. One area we have been trying to assist on in particular has been helping to address barriers for patients that require prescription cannabinoid-based medicines. 

“We developed the MedCanHub platform, to increase the proficiency and confidence of doctors to prescribe, with the aim of making UK unlicensed Cannabis based Medicinal Products (UCBPMs) prescriptions transparent and accessible.

“There is a long way to go in the development of novel and personalised medicines for people living with chronic pain, and we know that education is vital to this process.”

Cellen’s abstract, titled “MedCanHub, a platform developed by Cellen aimed at reducing barriers of access to unlicensed Cannabis based Medicinal Products during the COVID-19 pandemic” is available to view at the RCP Medical Conference 2021 and will be published in the RCP journal soon. 

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