More MS news articles for March 2001

Society Supports Lords Recommendation into Cannabis-based Drugs

Thursday March 22, 04:57 PM

This press release is transmitted on behalf of The Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain has welcomed a report published today by the House of Lords select committee on science and technology calling for cannabis to be regarded in the same way as any other potential medicine.

Responding to the report, Professor Tony Moffat, the Society's Chief Scientist, said that the committee's report was another constructive step towards the development of cannabis based medicines.

He said: "This report highlights how important it is that the development of treatments is not delayed, so that sufferers of illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis, can get the benefits.

"I fully expect that the clinical trials that are taking place at the moment will provide scientific and conclusive proof that a standardised preparation of cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol (an active ingredient of cannabis) has therapeutic benefit." Professor Moffat also commented that Britain could follow the examples that have been set by other countries, particularly Belgium and Canada.

Belgium was the second European country to allow cannabis to be used as a medicine.

In the state of Ontario, Canada, patients using cannabis based medicine can apply to their GP to prevent being prosecuted for possession of the drug under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Notes to Editors Protocols developed by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain are currently being used in two major clinical trials.

Dr Anita Holdcroft, of Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, is investigating the therapeutic effect of cannabis and cannabinoids for the condition of post-operative pain.

Dr John Zajicek of Derriford Hospital, Plymouth is leading a trial into spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain is the professional and regulatory body for Britain's pharmacists and advocates the development of pharmaceutical science.

UNS Contact: For further information please contact David Daley or Zok Davies in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain's public relations unit 0207-735-9141 ext 224/264 ends/mw