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Grow Pharma and Integro Clinics launch new UK patient access scheme

The scheme is offering 500 free initial consultations to eligible patients.

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A new scheme, The Grow Access Project, is offering 500 free initial consultations to eligible patients to help reduce barriers to access in the UK.

One of the UK’s leading distributors of cannabis-based medicines, Grow Pharma, has announced the launch of The Grow Access Project in collaboration with Integro Medical Clinics. 

The scheme aims to further reduce the barrier to access to prescribed cannabis medicines for patients on low-income benefit, as well as making it more accessible to veterans of UK armed forces.

Patients on the scheme will be able to access Grow Pharma’s own-brand flower products, which launched in 2022, for a reduced price, as well as being offered cheaper consultation fees. 

Medical cannabis was legalised in the UK in 2018, but only a handful of prescriptions have been issued on the NHS. This means that patients are forced to access cannabis medicines through the private sector, the cost of which can be a significant barrier.

The Grow range, launched in May, includes five flower medicines cultivated in North-Macedonia by EU-GMP licensed producer PHCANN, and is the lowest priced range of flowers available through Grow-IPS Pharma alongside the Aurora, Tilray and Spectrum ranges.

It is being launched at £6.50 per gram for products containing less than 18 per cent THC, £7.50 per gram for those containing 18 – 22 per cent THC and £8.50 for any higher THC content flowers. 

Patients eligible for the Grow Access Project will be able to access the full range for £6.50 per gram. 

In addition, Integro Medical Clinics are offering the first 500 eligible new patients their first consultation for free with a new reduced fee system following.

Pierre Van Weperen, Grow Pharma CEO, commented: “We’re very excited to be launching the Grow Access Project. As Grow Pharma we prioritise quality, consistency and reliability in the supply of cannabis medicines. 

“With the Grow Access Project we are hoping to help more patients make use of our excellent medical cannabis services and we hope that over time more clinics will join the project.”

Alex Fraser, patient access lead at Grow Pharma, added: “We feel that what we’ve created works well for everyone involved. Patients, Doctors, Clinics and producers all engage as a community with Grow and IPS managing the ecosystem. Slowly but surely, we are building a medical cannabis industry that works for patients. With the Grow Access Project more patients can benefit from this incredible plant.”

How does it work?

Patients will need to provide evidence for eligibility to the clinic to access the project. The doctor will then make a note on the prescription to ensure that the lower price is applied.

Who are the companies behind the Grow Access Project?

Grow Pharma is a joint venture between UK medical cannabis specialists Grow Group (who also boast a research and development facility in Harpenden, alongside operations in Germany, Spain and Ireland) and trusted UK pharmacy, IPS Pharma, which has over 20 years’ experience of sourcing, importing, manufacturing medicines to meet patients’ unmet needs.

Grow Pharma locates producers of quality cannabis medicines from across the world and works with them to bring their medicines to UK patients. 

This involves providing support and education for prescribing doctors, working with cannabis-prescribing clinics and helping drive awareness about the UK’s medical cannabis system. 

Meanwhile, IPS Pharma is the pharmacy on the ground. They run the team and the facilities through which cannabis medicines are imported, stocked and distributed to patients.

Clare Holliday, head of medical cannabis, IPS

Clare Holliday, head of medical cannabis at IPS Pharma, said: “At Grow Pharma and IPS our ethos has always been that of a patient centric approach. We’re very proud of our track record in terms of quality medicines, reliable supply, and patient care. We have spent the last three years listening carefully and engaging with both patients and prescribers, so we understand their needs.

“Our procurement team works closely with the MHRA and Home Office to ensure that only EU-GMP, quality products are imported from leading Licensed producers. Careful planning and continuity of supply has been key for ensuring no interruptions in patients’ treatment.”

Integro Medical Clinics is one of around 15 private clinics in the UK set up to specialise in the prescribing of cannabis medicines. Integro is part owned by IPS but not directly linked to Grow. The relationship enables a fast turnaround of prescriptions and ensures doctors and patients can easily get in touch with the pharmacy if they have any questions or concerns. 

“We have a great team here at Integro. We have passionate doctors who really go above and beyond, and our administrative team works incredibly hard to take care of our patients,” explained Dr Basil Almahdi, pain specialist and lead clinician at Integro Clinics.

Dr Basil Almahdi, lead clinician at Integro Clinics. 

“We’ve always had a nurse leading on patient management, and I think that makes a huge difference. Nurses are the clinical staff best placed to help patients navigate their care and ensure the doctor-patient relationship runs smoothly. 

“On top of this we have Grow providing education and support for our prescribers and the team at IPS making sure the prescription delivery process runs efficiently.”

Dr Almahdi continued: “At Integro Clinics our priority is the patient and ensuring that they receive the best care. We are not a machine churning out prescriptions, there is a heart and soul to the business. I think it is wonderful that Grow Pharma, Integro and IPS Pharma have come together to launch the Grow Access Project. I speak to many patients within my care that struggle to juggle the financial demands that family and life brings.”

What do patients say about their experience with Integro Clinics?

Adam Thwaites, a patient prescribed cannabis for spinal pain and sciatica, said: “I have found the entire process professional, caring and supportive. I have been really impressed by the level of patient friendly communication I have received, keeping me up to date with the various steps in the consultation process.

Adam Thwaites, a patient at Integro Clinics

“From my initial contact with Integro, through to my consultation and follow up, it has been welcoming and reassuring. My consultation made me feel comfortable to discuss personal parts of my life. I am very pleased to be with Integro and I appreciate their support.”

Fibromyalgia patient, Steven Spencer, added: “I’ve found Integro to be professional, friendly and patient-centred. They are easy to get hold of. The service from a patient point of view is excellent.”

Where can I sign up?

Contact Integro Medical Clinics on 0800 464 7051 or email Simply contact Integro Medical Clinics on 0800 464 7051 or email [email protected] and ask about the Grow Access Project.

Home » Industry » Grow Pharma and Integro Clinics launch new UK patient access scheme

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New fully digital cannabis dispensary launches in UK

It aims to streamline the process through which  cannabis patients can access their medicine.

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New fully digital cannabis dispensary launches in UK

A new fully digital medical cannabis pharmacy aims to improve the dispensing experience for UK patients.

A new digital dispensing solution has launched in the UK, with the aim of streamlining the process through which cannabis patients can access their medicine.

Through the new system, patients are able to schedule delivery to their home or office, with a 120-minute delivery service in London and Birmingham and next-day delivery across the UK.

Akanda subsidiary, CanMart, has partnered with digital pharmacy infrastructure Phlo Connect and Cellen Life Sciences to bring the project to life.

The process will be increasingly seamless for patients in the near future as Phlo Connect, Cellen and CanMart build additional digital interconnections, Akanda said.

Osteoarthritis: A banner advert for the medical cannabis clinics

Tej Virk, CEO of Akanda, said: “Akanda is committed to expanding access to high-quality products for anyone in need, and that is qualified in the United Kingdom, a growing market for medical cannabis.

“Phlo Connect and Cellen are the ideal partners to make this happen, combining the UK’s first fully digital pharmacy with a digital dispensing model that is easy to use, secure, and real-time.

“In the nascent UK medical cannabis market, patients currently suffer from excess friction as the prescription process, and last-mile delivery is disjointed.

“We firmly believe that our solution is the best way to satisfy patients and get our 1P and 3P-supplied medical cannabis in their hands quickly and conveniently, which will greatly improve the patient experience.”

New fully digital cannabis dispensary launches in UK

The partnership with Phlo Connect builds on CanMart’s existing partnership with Cellen, a health tech company that provides treatment to chronic pain patients through Leva Clinic, as well as through partners including the NHS, and Boots UK.

The Leva Clinic, which is licensed and regulated by the Care Quality Commission, is one of the first fully digital pain clinics in the UK.

Cellen is also a medical cannabis supplier to Project Twenty21, the large-scale medical cannabis observational study monitored by Drug Science that aims to improve access to medical cannabis.

Adam Hunter, CCO of Phlo Connect commented: “We believe partnering with CanMart and Cellen will be a game-changer for medicinal cannabis patients here in the UK.

“By integrating with both CanMart and Cellen via our API-driven pharmacy platform, we believe that this partnership is the first truly end-to-end digital experience for medicinal cannabis patients in the UK.”

He added: “Our patients require access to new high-quality products without the friction and hassle of traditional dispensing services. This partnership is another example of our continuing efforts to build on our national, established relationships with the wider pharmaceutical community in innovative ways.

“We believe that CanMart’s access to high quality products as well as Phlo Connect’s extensive capabilities in dispensing will go a long way to helping our service to our patients.”

Home » Industry » Grow Pharma and Integro Clinics launch new UK patient access scheme

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CiiTECH celebrates five years with five days of CBD offers

CiiTECH’s five-year birthday is a pivotal moment, the company said.

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ciitech

Cannabis healthcare company CiiTECH celebrates its fifth birthday and reflects on a turbulent half-decade for the CBD industry.

CiiTECH’s five-year birthday is a pivotal moment, the company said. After what has been one of the most turbulent times for the industry, the firm has achieved six months of stability. With new crypto projects on the horizon and new markets on the cards, the company is gearing up for a period of growth.

CBD is a tough industry to be in right now but that has never stopped CiiTECH CEO and founder, Clifton Flack, from driving the business through regulatory issues and the challenges of an increasingly saturated market.

“When we started the business in 2017 the market was approaching the peak of interest and excitement. Since then, alongside the hundreds of brands that have been born to compete with us, we’ve also faced monumental regulatory pressures and flip-flopping,” Flack said.

“We’re still here though, independent and with a bright future ahead as the coming year ahead brings settled regulations.”

After a stormy start to the year, the FSA delivered on their promise to roll out a framework by which products can be set on a supervised pathway to novel food authorisation. The market is now more difficult than ever to penetrate for new and emerging brands, however it gives established UK CBD companies like CiiTECH an advantage over international companies attempting to penetrate the UK market.

“In parallel, the industry and our peers have had a two year pandemic, Brexit supply chain disruptions and now a cost of living crisis set to put all previous volatilities to shame,” Flack added.

“Now more than ever, cannabis healthcare companies need to take our time, avoid the panic and focus on delivering quality products behind trusted brands that are built for the long term.”

Recently, CiiTECH investigated a stock market listing on the London Stock Exchange but the IPO did not come to fruition.

“As the CEO, I had to make an impossible decision,” Flack said.

“Amongst other things, the timing was just not right. Consumer sentiment and demands are volatile and we found the essence of our company getting lost in bureaucracy at a time when it should have been front of mind.

Yesterday, CiiTECH launched five promotions over five days to celebrate the anniversary of the company.

“As a revenue-driven business, CiiTECH would not be in the position it is today without its army of loyal Provacan customers, so we’re giving back to them the best way we know-how.

“With five days’ worth of promos and freebies to mark five years of success. Our Friday promo emails have become somewhat legendary among our customers but we have never done anything like this before.”

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GPs should prescribe medical cannabis, says industry review

A new review has recommended the roll out of a national trial, permitting GPs to prescribe medical cannabis.

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GPs should prescribe medical cannabis, says industry review
Polling showed strong support for allowing all doctors to prescribe cannabis as a treatment. 

A new UK report has recommended the roll out of a national trial permitting GPs to prescribe medical cannabis.

GPs should be allowed to prescribe medical cannabis in the UK, according to a new review published on Monday 27 June.

Industry experts have recommended the roll-out of a national trial, which would see GPs permitted to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products, alongside specialist consultants. 

The recommendation was published as part of the Hodges Review, commissioned by The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) and the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI).

The report, which aims to set out how the UK can be a world-leader in cannabinoid innovation, is set to be launched today (27 June) with a speech by MP George Freeman, the minister for science, research and innovation.

US research programme studies cannabinoids in ovarian cancer

GP prescribing 

In the UK, GPs may prescribe as part of a ‘Shared Care’ agreement, under the direction of a doctor on the specialist register, but they are not permitted to initiate treatment themselves.

According to polling data, collected for the review from 1,500 individuals across the UK, between the 9-13th June, 2022, there was strong support for allowing all doctors, not just specialists, to prescribe cannabis as a treatment. 

Two-thirds of respondents (65 per cent) believe GPs should be allowed to prescribe medicinal cannabis and more than a third said they would trust their GP to prescribe it to them.

Among 20 recommendations made by the report, the authors suggest an “opt-in model” which would give GPs the option to consent to prescribing cannabis-based medicines and participating in data collection to help inform future guidelines.

In more than 50 countries worldwide where medical cannabis has been made legal GPs make up the majority of prescribers. 

A survey of over 1,000 GPs, published last year by the Primary Care Cannabis Network, found that there was a willingness from UK doctors to prescribe too. 

Almost a quarter (24 percent) said they would be willing to take on the role of prescribing and overseeing medical cannabis treatments and just under three quarters (73 per cent) were open-minded about having a more active role in the field.

Read more: How GPs could open up access to medical cannabis

Quoted in the Hodges Review, Hazel Neavyn-Neita, medical information lead, Althea Life UK and Ireland said: “The cost of supplying product to the UK is roughly 3.2 times higher than supplying product to Australia.

“Allowing GPs to prescribe and widening patient access may increase sales. It would also reduce the costs of consultations for private patients since they could see a GP rather than a specialist consultant. If volumes increase, companies will be able to reduce the cost of manufacture and shipping which will reduce the cost to the patient.” 

Deepak Anand, principal of ASDA Consultancy Services, added: “By not allowing all GPs to prescribe, we’re effectively putting people into the black market, because people are going to try to access this whichever way they can… That is a serious and abject policy failure from a public health perspective by the government. Once we start to see GPs prescribing, you will see a real opening up of the industry in the UK.”

The report also highlighted the need to “take forward commitments” for coordinated data collection, suggesting that GP prescriptions could involve patient enrolment in a national registry to help gather real-world evidence.

Further recommendations include consulting with patient groups and police forces to introduce Home Office guidance for frontline officers to verify patients who have a valid prescription, and creating a single formulary of all available products in the UK to support doctors in prescribing with up-to-date information.

Attitudes towards medical cannabis 

Among those polled, there was broad support for cannabis as a medical treatment.

One in five respondents said they personally know someone whose health has benefited from medicinal cannabis and 63 per cent would be supportive if a family member was taking it to address a health condition.

Only eight per cent said they would be “somewhat” or “very” opposed to it and almost one in seven people admitted that they have used cannabis for “health reasons” themselves. 

Of those who had used cannabis for medicinal reasons (whether prescribed by a doctor or not), 90 per cent experienced positive benefits, including a fifth whose symptoms were “completely resolved”. 

There was also recognition of a need to make cannabis medicines more accessible for patients in the UK, with 59 per cent of those polled believing that the government should help lower the cost of cannabis supplied by private clinics so more people can afford it.

A large majority (64 per cent) of respondents believe the government should do more to support scientific research into cannabis in the UK.

CBD vs Medical cannabis

Although public awareness of medicinal cannabis was lower than of CBD, the report found evidence to suggest that public levels of trust are generally higher. 

When asked about CBD products, the most concerning thing for 43 per cent of respondents was if the product was synthetic and not from natural ingredients, or if the product was not tested for purity. 

Those hesitant to try CBD said they would be most likely to try a product if there was more public information about CBD and how to take it and if the government made it clear that CBD was legal.

The report also claims that where young people are more open to the use of CBD, older people are more likely to report positive views towards medicinal cannabis.

By contrast, young people were more likely to think that medicinal cannabis is “not a serious clinical treatment”.

A total of 59 per cent of respondents believe that in 10 years time the medical benefits of cannabis would be more widespread and accepted.

You can download the full report here

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