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The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society is a physician and expert-led nonprofit society dedicated to the education of clinicians on the topic of medical cannabis and therapeutic cannabinoids dedicated to supporting the medical and scientific community in the UK and globally with high-quality education, peer support and training to benefit patients who are suitable for this class of medication as an option.

We’re seeking Masters-level Information & Library Studies Research Student to lead a project for the Society.

The project

As our main remit is education, we aim to provide a searchable research database for medical cannabis and cannabinoid studies that have been published in peer-reviewed journals. This ranges from case reports and observational data sets through to RCTs and meta-analysis searchable by keyword or clinical/therapeutic area where cannabinoid-based medicines are being used.

In Canada, Vice-Chair Dr. Gordon worked with a master of library studies research student from the University of British Columbia in Canada on creating such a database for another area of medicine and this project was very successful.  We hope to complete a similar project with a student here in the UK. In the past, Dr. Gordon acted as the clinical mentor/supervisor for the student over two semesters and the project was completed as part of their curriculum.  The student was able to gain successful employment upon graduation immediately using this project as the showcase in their portfolio and recommendations from Dr. Gordon as well as being able to show their work on leading this project.

Why it is needed

Currently, there is no unbiased source of information for clinicians where they can search for the most up to date and also the most relevant peer-reviewed research in this topic area, which is still quite new and considered by many, a controversial area of medicine.

This service and capability is absolutely essential to ensuring clinicians have up-to-date information at their fingertips to help support their prescribing decisions in this area and keep abreast of new studies and findings to guide both clinical decisions as well as support policy change and continuing medical education needs.  Currently, many patients seeking medical cannabis for a treatment-resistant chronic illness in the UK are coming to their doctors knowing more about the published evidence base than their clinician.

Why we need you

The MCCS is run on a volunteer basis by leading expert physicians who also work full-time in their practices and do not have the database building technical skill set or time scales for the completion of this project.  Because we are a not-for-profit organisation with limited funds, we are unable to seek out a commercial partner to complete this project.

Apply now

To apply for the position, please contact the Society by emailing [email protected] with a cover letter which details your interest and qualifications. Expenses will be paid as part of this work and you will receive full support.

 

The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society has today re-issued a newly updated version of Recommendations and Guidance on Medical Cannabis under Prescription.

Our guidelines set out the facts about medical cannabis treatments – history, evidence and prescribing information. In conjunction with the Society’s recently published Roadmap for UK Doctors – a step by step guide to prescribing this treatment – clinicians in the UK can feel reassured that they are supported every step of the way by an independent community of medical cannabis experts.

In the UK today, medical cannabis is being unfairly denied to patients in the NHS because the regulators do not understand the treatment. The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society believe that people in the UK are being left to suffer because NICE, the Department for Health and Social Care and the NHS have thus far failed to provide doctors with fair and balanced guidelines when it comes to prescribing medical cannabis.

The MCCS guidance, updated and reissued today considers the extensive evidence available across a wide range of conditions. We hope this is welcomed by medical bodies and urge them to consider these expert recommendations.

Read and download the updated guidelines here.

For the first time in the UK, the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society has today published an independent step-by-step guide to becoming a medical cannabis prescriber.

Available at www.ukmccs.org/prescribing, the Society’s expert committee brought together information from the Government, the NHS, NICE, Royal Colleges, licensed producers of medical cannabis products and training providers into one place for the first time, giving doctors a clear and rational route to prescribe.

Since medical cannabis was made legal in November 2018, the number of prescriptions for the treatment have remained extremely low as clinicians struggle to understand Government regulations and various guidelines issued by numerous bodies. Only around 50 people have benefitted from medical cannabis prescriptions, mostly in the private sector, since then.

The guide for clinicians is a roadmap to help you navigate the information currently available, developed by doctors who have now begun seeing the benefits of this treatment with their own patients in the UK. In conjunction with the peer support offered by membership of the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society, this step-by-step guide – which will be regularly updated – provides doctors with the support and guidance required to begin prescribing.

In February, we will re-issue our own official guidance – Recommendations and Guidance on Medical Cannabis under Prescription, version 2, to support this prescribing information.

All information is correct at the time of writing (Jan 2020) and will be updated regularly. If you would like to suggest changes, additions or amendments to the published information, please do not hesitate to contact us. Share your feedback or request information and we will do our best to incorporate it into future versions.

You can also sign up as a member for just £90 per year.  If you’re not a clinician but want to know more then please sign up to our mailing list for regular updates.

The work of the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society is made possible by unrestricted educational grant funding from our supporters. Find out more about becoming a supporter.

This week (Wednesday 13 November) we proudly bought together leading Medical Cannabis experts and healthcare professionals to our conference, ‘Medical Cannabis in Practice: Prescribing, practicalities and the patient experience’.

During the event, doctors pledged to become medical cannabis prescribers, to access education and explore and contribute to the evidence base for medical cannabis treatments at our first annual conference in London.

We welcomed attendees from across the sector who were interested in learning more about access to Medical Cannabis in the UK today and the day provided attendees with a practical insight into medical cannabis, discussed the global position of the drug’s evidence, the UK regulatory space, efficacy, research and the impact on patients.

Speakers included one of the industry’s leading experts, Professor David Nutt of DrugScience. He discussed the charity’s newly launched Project Twenty21 trial – Europe’s first and biggest national medical cannabis registry of 20,000 patients, creating the largest body of evidence for the effectiveness and tolerability of medical cannabis.

Professor Mike Barnes provided an introduction to medical cannabis and explored the global evidence and Executive Director Hannah Deacon talked about the frustrations in fighting for access of the drug for her son, Alfie Dingley. Dr Dani Gordon advised delegates on understanding and navigating medical cannabis and CBD treatments.

Dr Liz Iveson, complex care specialist and prescribing doctor shared stories of patients she is successfully treating with medical cannabis and Dr Leon Barron provided insights into the role of the GP in this space.

Professor Mike Barnes, Chair of the UK Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society, said: “We were pleased to welcome clinicians, healthcare and industry professionals to this conference that not only educated attendees on all the latest from the Medical Cannabis sector but provided a call to action for doctors to learn more about the life-changing benefits of this treatment.”

Supporting the conference were CiiTECH Ltd, a cannabis biotech company that focuses on discovering, developing and commercialising cannabinoid products for the global market and the leading Australian medical cannabis manufacturer, Little Green Pharma, who are now supplying the European medical cannabis market.

The MCCS is made up of some of the most respected medical cannabis clinicians in the country and ensure that clinicians have access to evidence, education, training, guidance and support to enable them to prescribe medical cannabis to patients who could benefit from this life-changing treatment.

Thank you to those who attended our conference, keep up to date on our website and social media channels for news of future events, workshops and conferences. You can also sign up to our mailing list to be the first to know more.

Join the Society. 

Join the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society at this exciting conference for clinicians interested in becoming prescribers and for sector professionals and others interested in the growth of access and the reality of medical cannabis in the UK today.

At Medical Cannabis in Practice: Prescribing, practicalities and the patient experience, you’ll learn from those at the heart of this new industry – from licensed producers working to grow and develop treatments, those working to import and ensure access through our pharmacies, and from doctors prescribing life-changing treatments.

Click to buy tickets now

Speakers will include Tonia Antoniazzi MPProf. Roger G Pertwee, Chair, Prof. Mike Barnes, Vice-Chair, Dr Dani Gordon and MCCS Committee Members Dr Leon Barron, GP, Dr Liz Iveson, Consultant Complex Care Physician, Dr Rebbeca Moore, Psychiatrist and Hannah Deacon, Executive Director and Patient Advocate.

With further speakers from across the medical cannabis sector soon to be announced, buy your tickets today and secure your place at this not-to-be missed event.

Interested in joining The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society?

Membership is open to clinicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals interested in medical cannabis treatments. With peer support, training, evidence and exclusive discounts to events and conferences, find out more and join today by emailing [email protected].

You can also sign up during the event.

Chair Prof Mike Barnes, Vice-Chair, Dr Dani Gordon & Committee Member, GP Dr Leon Barron join Dr Christian Jessen & Dr Callie Seaman on The Medical Panel this weekend.

On Saturday 14 September from 12:45pm, the panel will take to the Business Pro Stage to explore medical cannabis in the UK today.

Find out more and book your place here: www.hempandcbdexpo.co.uk/buy-tickets 

Interested in joining The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society?

Membership is open to clinicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals interested in medical cannabis treatments. With peer support, training, evidence and exclusive discounts to events and conferences, find out more and join today by emailing [email protected].

THE MEDICAL CANNABIS CLINICIANS SOCIETY RESPONSES TO:

Draft NICE guidelines into Cannabis-based medicinal products

Reviewing the guidelines, Prof Mike Barnes, leading medical cannabis expert and Chair of the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society said,

“The draft guidelines produced today by NICE are 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 day for many tens of thousands of people in the UK who are benefitting from, or who would benefit from wider availability of cannabis medicine.”

Dani Gordon, Vice-Chair Canadian medical doctor specializing in cannabis medicine, now based in the UK said, 

“These guidelines are very disappointing as they do not reflect what we see clinically treating patients with chronic pain conditions. It also fails to recognise that this is a quality of life medication, hugely beneficial for helping improve people’s level of functioning who are dealing with chronic serious medical conditions which have no cure and even best drug therapy often fails to improve quality of life in any measurable way.

The guidelines are also unnecessarily restrictive in terms of the types of conditions where medical cannabis might be prescribed such as for complex symptom clusters including pain and anxiety.  These complex symptom clusters and use of cannabis-based medicines in the real world practice of medicine and their efficacy cannot be adequately measured in a randomised controlled trial environment.

They fly in the face of the incredible results I have seen in symptom management and quality of life using cannabis based medicinal products to treat thousands of patients in my Canadian physician-referral medical practice and do a real disservice to patient-centred care.”

Hannah Deacon, Executive Director and Patient Advocate, whose son, Alfie Dingley was the first patient in the UK to receive a permanent cannabis licence and is now only one of two patients with an NHS prescription, said;

“I’m extremely disappointed. There are hundreds of thousands of people using cannabis-based medicines across the world and it’s having an enormously positive impact on their health. Many countries have legalised medical cannabis industries – America, Canada and other G7 countries – they see the evidence is good enough. The UK is insisting on reinventing the wheel for no reason – and the people who are suffering are patients.

In the UK, I’m supporting 20 families who are trying to secure prescriptions for their children and over half have now had private prescriptions – what’s the provision for them? They can’t afford to continue paying over £1000 a month or travelling to Europe to illegally access this medicine. There is no empathy at all in these guidelines – they will force people to criminalise themselves and it’s making vulnerable people more vulnerable.”

BARRIERS TO ACCESS NHS REVIEW:

Prof Barnes said:

“This is 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 into Cannabis-based medicinal products also released today.  Nice has surely reached its sell-by date.

I hope that Matt Hancock takes advice from his own review and rejects the outmoded and outdated draft Nice guidelines.”

Hannah Deacon said;

“I find it shocking that on the day the Nice guidance is released – which is extremely restrictive and recommends against prescriptions unless randomised controlled trials take place – that the NHS review commissioned by Matt Hancock completely contradicts this guidance.

This NHS review recognises that there is a blockage on prescriptions and makes some good recommendations of how the THE MEDICAL CANNABIS CLINICIANS SOCIETY RESPONSES TO:
Draft NICE guidelines into Cannabis-based medicinal products
Barriers to accessing cannabis-based products for medicinal use on NHS prescription, commissioned by Matt Hancock MP
Draft NICE guidelines into Cannabis-based medicinal products
Reviewing the guidelines, Prof Mike Barnes, leading medical cannabis expert and Chair of the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society said,

“The draft guidelines produced today by NICE are 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 day for many tens of thousands of people in the UK who are benefitting from, or who would benefit from wider availability of cannabis medicine.”

Dani Gordon, Vice-Chair Canadian medical doctor specializing in cannabis medicine, now based in the UK said,

“These guidelines are very disappointing as they do not reflect what we see clinically treating patients with chronic pain conditions. It also fails to recognise that this is a quality of life medication, hugely beneficial for helping improve people’s level of functioning who are dealing with chronic serious medical conditions which have no cure and even best drug therapy often fails to improve quality of life in any measurable way.

The guidelines are also unnecessarily restrictive in terms of the types of conditions where medical cannabis might be prescribed such as for complex symptom clusters including pain and anxiety. These complex symptom clusters and use of cannabis-based medicines in the real world practice of medicine and their efficacy cannot be adequately measured in a randomised controlled trial environment.

They fly in the face of the incredible results I have seen in symptom management and quality of life using cannabis based medicinal products to treat thousands of patients in my Canadian physician-referral medical practice and do a real disservice to patient-centred care.”

Hannah Deacon, Executive Director and Patient Advocate, whose son, Alfie Dingley was the first patient in the UK to receive a permanent cannabis licence and is now only one of two patients with an NHS prescription, said;

“I’m extremely disappointed. There are hundreds of thousands of people using cannabis-based medicines across the world and it’s having an enormously positive impact on their health. Many countries have legalised medical cannabis industries – America, Canada and other G7 countries – they see the evidence is good enough. The UK is insisting on reinventing the wheel for no reason – and the people who are suffering are patients.

In the UK, I’m supporting 20 families who are trying to secure prescriptions for their children and over half have now had private prescriptions – what’s the provision for them? They can’t afford to continue paying over £1000 a month or travelling to Europe to illegally access this medicine. There is no empathy at all in these guidelines – they will force people to criminalise themselves and it’s making vulnerable people more vulnerable.”

BARRIERS TO ACCESS NHS REVIEW:
Prof Barnes said:

“This is 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 into Cannabis-based medicinal products also released today. Nice has surely reached its sell-by date.

I hope that Matt Hancock takes advice from his own review and rejects the outmoded and outdated draft Nice guidelines.”

Hannah Deacon said;

“I find it shocking that on the day the Nice guidance is released – which is extremely restrictive and recommends against prescriptions unless randomised controlled trials take place – that the NHS review commissioned by Matt Hancock completely contradicts this guidance.

This NHS review recognises that there is a blockage on prescriptions and makes some good recommendations of how the NHS can improve access for families such as mine.

The contrast between these two very important publications is very worrying. There is no joined-up thinking and in the middle of all this mess there are vulnerable families with very sick children who are being left to suffer.”

END

The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society believes that everyone who could benefit from medical cannabis should have access to it. Our mission is to give clinicians access to evidence, training, expert guidance, peer support and licensed product information so they can prescribe life-changing medical cannabis treatments to all patients in the UK. The Society is an expert-led, independent, not-for-profit community, dedicated to bringing this safe, legal and effective medicine to people living with chronic conditions.
Visit ukmccs.org for more information.
For further comment or response, please contact Kate Thorpe on 07890172128 or email [email protected]

Join the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society at this exciting conference for clinicians interested in becoming prescribers and for sector professionals and others interested in the growth of access and the reality of medical cannabis in the UK today.

At Medical Cannabis in Practice: Prescribing, practicalities and the patient experience, you’ll learn from those at the heart of this new industry – from licensed producers working to grow and develop treatments, those working to import and ensure access through our pharmacies, and from doctors prescribing life-changing treatments.

Click to buy tickets now

Speakers will include Vice-Chair, Dr Dani Gordon, Executive Committee Members GP, Dr Leon Barron, Dr Liz Iveson, Consultant Physician specialising in complex care, Chair, Professor Mike Barnes and Executive Director and Patient Advocate, Hannah Deacon, plus many more to be announced.

With further speakers from across the medical cannabis sector soon to be announced, sign up for your early-bird tickets today and secure your place at this not-to-be missed event.

Interested in becoming a member?

Please email us with your contact details at [email protected] – we’ll be in touch in the next couple of weeks with joining instructions

MCCS members joining before November 2019 can purchase tickets at early-bird rate of £90. But – tickets are limited, so don’t miss out – get yours today!

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/medical-cannabis-prescribing-practicalities-and-the-patient-experience-tickets-64801554193

The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society’s mission is to provide clinicians with the education, evidence, expert support network and licensed product information they need to safely and confidently prescribe medical cannabis to patients in the UK.

At our informal event on Wednesday 26 June – during European Cannabis Week – licensed producers, investors and those interested in knowing more about the benefits of supporting our doctors are welcome to attend.

The event is your opportunity to meet pioneering specialist clinicians, the first to prescribe medical cannabis products in the UK.

Speakers Professor Mike Barnes, Chair, Dr Dani Gordon, Vice Chair and Hannah Deacon, Executive Director, will introduce the society’s plans for 2019 & beyond.

To find out more, sign up via Eventbrite by clicking here.

With your support, we’ll achieve our mission to provide clinicians with education, evidence, expert support & licenced product information

To stay up to date, please sign up to our mailing list here, or connect on LinkedIn or Twitter @ukmccs.

Since publishing recommendations and guidance with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Cannabis under Prescription in November 2018, the Society has been working hard to develop its terms of reference, education programme and other membership benefits.

With a new website in development, over the coming months the Society will be sharing further information, advice and support for clinicians interested in knowing more about medical cannabis.

The new website will see a searchable evidence hub, regular expert advice and for members, a secure area with prescribing guidelines and access to a peer support network giving you real-time guidance from medical cannabis experts.

To stay up to date, please sign up to our mailing list here, or connect on LinkedIn or Twitter @ukmccs.