The Health and Social Care Committee launches inquiry into the usage of medicinal cannabis products.
The Government has announced that cannabis derived medicinal products (CDMPs) can be legally prescribed by specialist hospital doctors in cases of: Children with rare, severe forms of epilepsy; Adults with vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy; Adults with muscle stiffness caused by multiple sclerosis.
This follows the recommendation of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) that CDMPs be moved out of Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. The ACMD also reported that: a definition for cannabis derived medicinal products be worked on; the Department of Health and Social Care, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Home Office develop additional guidance and frameworks for the safe prescribing of CDMPs; clinical trials be set up to urgently establish the effectiveness and safety of CDMPs.
Terms of reference – call for written submissions
As the first part of a wider inquiry into the impact of drugs policy on public health, the Committee is seeking evidence on the usage of medicinal cannabis products. The Committee invites written submissions answering the following:
- What does the current evidence base tell us about the efficacy of medicinal cannabis?
- What plans are there for research into the medicinal use of cannabis, and what challenges are faced by that research?
- How suitable are the current procedures for enabling the use of medicinal cannabis in appropriate cases?
- Do practitioners have the knowledge and products available to them to confidently prescribe medicinal cannabis?
- Is the current guidance around prescribing CDMPs fit for purpose?
- What can we learn from the legalisation of medicinal cannabis and its practical implementation in other countries?
- Have recent changes in the scheduling and availability of CDMP, and media attention around this, affected public opinion and behaviours in the UK?
The closing date for written submissions is Friday 8 February. Oral evidence is expected to be taken in March. Those sending written submissions should not feel they have to comment on every area mentioned.