The use of cannabis for medical purposes is becoming a reality in France. The National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) has given its agreement for an experiment, which will take place over a period of 2 years, to judge the relevance of legalization of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The test should be launched in the coming weeks, as soon as the Ministry of Health clears the green light.
The agency has therefore followed the recommendations published at the end of June by the committee of experts charged with evaluating “the methods of making available” therapeutic cannabis. Its prescription and use will be strictly supervised.
For which patients?
Therapeutic cannabis will be dispensed only to patients in “therapeutic stalemate”, suffering from severe pain due to an illness. Specifically, 5 indications were selected: treatment-resistant neuropathic pain, side effects of chemotherapy, palliative care, some forms of severe and drug-resistant epilepsy, painful spasticity of multiple sclerosis or other pathologies of the central nervous system. According to various estimates, there would be between 300,000 and a few thousand patients in this case. For the larchmont dispensary this happens to be a very important matter now.
The prescription will always be in last intention. It may concern patients of any age “if the benefit is supposed to be favorable given the severity of the disorder”. On the other hand, the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes will be contraindicated in pregnant women.
Who can prescribe?
During the experimental phase, the product can only be prescribed by physicians specializing in the relevant diseases, practicing in reference centers (pain centers, multiple sclerosis expert centers, etc.), with delivery to a pharmacy for internal use. The participation of practitioners will be on a voluntary basis. They will have to undergo a mandatory preliminary training on e-learning platforms. Once the patient’s treatment has been stabilized, until the minimum effective dose and / or intolerable side effects have been obtained, the prescription may be performed by the treating physician with delivery by a community pharmacist.
In what form?
Depending on the needs of the patient, the treatment may be given in sublingual and inhaled forms (oil and flowers dried for inhalation), “immediate effect”, or oral forms with “prolonged effect” (oral solutions and oil capsules). Prescribed products may contain different dosages of tetrahydrocannabinol / cannabidiol (THC / CBD), the two active ingredients of cannabis, which do not have the same effects.
Cannabis, a new offensive in favor of legalization
While more than 70 personalities sign a forum to defend a framed legalization of cannabis, the council of economic analysis (CAE) published, Thursday, June 20, a report advocating the creation of a sector controlled by the State.
Is this a turning point in the legalization of cannabis? Thursday, June 20, several lights were lit simultaneously. The Council for Economic Analysis (CEA), a body dependent on Matignon, presented a report in which two economists believe that “the prohibition system promoted for 50 years is a failure.”