1er palier expe?rimentation Canna med comp

First step reached for medical cannabis experimentation in France

The medical cannabis experimentation, which started last March, has seen an increase in the number of caregivers and participants: 243 referral centres have volunteered and 1000 new patients have been recruited.

This first assessment of the experimentation of cannabis for therapeutic use in France was shared at the end of November by the ANSM (National Agency for the Safety of Medicines) and the DGS (General Directorate for Health). Although the recruitment of patients and experimental centres has been slowed down by the current health crisis, the process is continuing.

Anticipation of the legalisation of plant production in France

The experimentation is taking place with the aim of testing not only the usefulness but also the efficacy of medical cannabis in five indications, namely, certain severe and resistant forms of epilepsy, refractory neuropathic pain, painful spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS), intractable symptoms in oncology, certain pathologies of the central nervous system (CNS) as well as certain palliative situations. The patients tested are divided almost equally into groups of 500 except for refractory neuropathic pain and other CNS conditions where there are 750.

Of the 1,000 patients already included as participants in the experiment, about 779 are actually followed by the reference establishments, since some of them were forced to leave the experiment prematurely because of adverse effects or because the performance of the treatments was too limited, given their pathology. As for the health professionals, of the 1035 who followed and validated the compulsory training programme serving as a pass for their participation in the experimentation, 735 exercise their functions in the so-called reference centres, which are mainly located in the Ile de France and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regions. The remaining 212 are either general practitioners or pharmacists.

Many answers are expected by 2023...

The main objective of this two-year experiment is to answer questions that remain unanswered about the reimbursement of cannabis by the health insurance system, the price of future treatments, the distribution channels legally authorised to supply them, etc. Legal and industrial issues are at stake, leading to discussions and solutions to move from a black market to a legal and regulated market that will accompany the development of a French therapeutic cannabis industry, as its production is still forbidden in France today.

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