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Crowdfunder launched for key study into cost-benefits of cannabis on NHS

A full health economic analysis hopes to show cannabis could be prescribed on the NHS at ‘net-zero’ cost.



Revealed: ‘major disconnect’ between NHS and private cannabis prescribing

A crowdfunding campaign hopes to kickstart a key study which aims to show the cost-effectiveness of making cannabis available on the NHS.

The online crowdfunder was launched by the Cannabis Industry Council (CIC) on Tuesday 11 October, to raise the remaining funds needed for the development of a full health economics analysis of cannabis and chronic pain.

It hopes to demonstrate to government, regulators and clinical bodies that cannabis could be introduced to the NHS at a ‘net zero’ cost. 

The project is being led by the University of York, with support from the CIC and Drug Science.

The crowdfunder aims to raise £6,000 – £8,000 to launch the project, with £12,000 worth of funding already secured.

Dr Anne Katrin Schlag, head of research at Drug Science and chair of the CIC research subgroup, said: “Many patients are successfully using cannabis-based medicinal products to treat chronic pain. Unfortunately, in the UK, medical cannabis is not available through the NHS to treat this condition, meaning that patients face significant costs to access the medicine via private healthcare.

“With our health economics analysis, we hope to show that – quite apart from improving patients’ quality of life – medical cannabis can also be cost-effective when compared to other treatments currently available.”

The research will include a comparison of costs with other treatments, and a consideration of cost and outcomes over a one-year time period.

An early economic modelling tool will be used to consider the costs, resource use and utility of prescribing medical cannabis to treat chronic pain. It is hoped the tool will demonstrate the viability of prescribing cannabis on the NHS under different scientific assumptions.

READ MORE: Study hopes to show cannabis would be ‘cost-effective’ on NHS

Professor Mike Barnes, chair of the CIC, commented: “We need to show that cannabis can be introduced to the NHS at net-zero cost, which I think will be the case, however, we still need to prove it.

“This study will play a vital part in the industry building the case for cannabis-based prescriptions, and we urge supporters to donate to make this a reality.”

The fundraising campaign runs initially for four weeks and can be found here

Home » Industry » Crowdfunder launched for key study into cost-benefits of cannabis on NHS

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister title and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


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