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Interim Nice guidelines disappointing; NHS review more promising

On Thursday 8 August, Nice published their draft interim guidelines into Cannabis-based medicinal products.

My verdict? Very disappointing but sadly predictable. Many NICE committee members had already expressed negative views about cannabis as a medicine, and those with positive views were excluded from the process.It is a pity the Committee does not understand the nature of the family of medical cannabis medicines and failed to take into account alternative, valid sources of evidence.

It relies solely on the pharmaceutical model of the randomised controlled trials which is not an appropriate methodology for the assessment of cannabis efficacy.This is a sad situation for many tens of thousands of people in the UK who are benefiting from, or who would benefit from wider availability of cannabis medicine.

On the same day, we also saw the NHS publish their review into cannabis based medical products, this report commissioned by Matt Hancock MP.

This a positive review that recognises the need for accepting different but valid evidence for the efficacy of cannabis as a medicine. It’s sad to compare this forward-looking and positive review of cannabis medicine by the NHS with sadly outdated draft Nice guidelines .I hope that Matt Hancock takes advice from his own review and rejects the outmoded and outdated draft Nice guidelines.

The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society published a full response into both reports, which can be read here.

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