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Cannabis: Analgesics

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 275737, tabled on 10 July 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of using medicinal cannabis for pain relief.

Answered on

18 July 2019

An initial impact assessment Rescheduling of cannabis-based products for medicinal use under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 was published alongside The Misuse of Drugs (Amendments) (Cannabis and Licence Fees) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2018. A copy of this impact assessment is available at the following link:

This set out the approach that the Government proposed to take in assessing the costs and benefits of the change in the law at a population level, with regard to the rescheduling of CBPM. The analysis is limited to the five medical conditions where there is most evidence. These five conditions are multiple sclerosis – pain or muscle spasticity; chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; severe treatment-resistant epilepsy in children - specifically Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome only; chronic pain in adults and appetite and weight loss associated with HIV/AIDS.

To further the evidence-base, the National Institute for Health Research has issued two calls for research in this area and is working with the industry and researchers to ensure that the evidence is developed in a way that will inform decisions on public funding. This research will be open to all good quality proposals covering any indication, including pain and other disorders unresponsive to existing treatments.