Althea Partners with UK Scientific Drug Committee to Further Education on Medicinal Cannabis and Improve Patient Access
· Althea collaborates with Drug Science, the UK’s only completely independent scientific committee on drugs, to further education on medicinal cannabis and improve patient access in the UK
· Drug Science will use Althea’s recently launched learning portal MEDIC to educate healthcare professionals about medicinal cannabis
· Drug Science aims to have MEDIC accredited by UK organisations including the Royal College of General Practitioners to enable healthcare professionals to receive continuing professional development points for completing courses
· The partnership further cements Althea’s position as a leader in the medicinal cannabis space with a focus on medical education and supports the Company’s expansion into the UK market
Australia, 23 May 2019: Australian medicinal cannabis company Althea Group Holdings Limited (ASX: AGH) through its wholly owned subsidiary Althea MMJ UK Ltd (‘Althea’ or ‘the Company’) is pleased to announce a partnership with Drug Science, the UK’s only completely independent scientific committee on drugs.
Drug Science is a leading international voice on the scientific, ethical and political developments regarding medical cannabis.
· In 2016 Drug Science’s cannabis report prompted the first WHO cannabis review in over 80 years
· In 2017, Professor David Nutt spent 10 days providing evidence to the South African courts, leading to its decision to reform its cannabis laws
· In 2019, Drug Science held its first symposium ‘Cannabis medicines: from principle to practice. How can we maximise clinical research and benefits?’ in order to move the field forward in the UK – from theory to practice
Althea has provided Drug Science with an unrestricted educational grant which will allow the non-profit to use the Company’s recently launched Medical Education In Cannabinoids learning portal (MEDIC) to educate healthcare professionals about medicinal cannabis.
Drug Science aims to have MEDIC accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Substance Misuse Management Good Practice (SMMGP) so that healthcare professionals completing MEDIC courses will receive continuing professional development points.
Launched in the UK last week, MEDIC’s first module focuses on the endocannabinoid system and the appropriate use of medicinal cannabis in patients with symptoms related to chronic non-cancer pain. MEDIC contains further learning modules based on medicinal cannabis in anxiety and sleep disorders, chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) and is in the process of rolling out a further three accredited educational modules.
Dr Robert Pawinski, Chief Medical Officer at Althea, said: “Althea is pleased to be part of this exciting venture and is privileged to be able to provide its wealth of experience from Australia and Canada to help ensure an evidence-based approach to patient care in the UK. Althea has a team who are passionate about breaking down barriers to ensure patients can access pharmaceutical grade medical cannabis to alleviate their suffering using the best evidence available.”
The partnership with Drug Science is supporting Althea’s expansion into the UK market which commenced in February. Althea is one of the first companies to enter this market following a November 2018 legislative change that enabled cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans to be prescribed by doctors. Althea is applying its proven education-backed patient acquisition strategy to replicate its successful entry in the highly regulated Australian market.
In addition to the above, Althea and Drug Science will collaborate on a Working Group to develop approaches to improve access to medical cannabis based on scientific evidence. The Group will bring together experts, patient representatives, policy makers and industry partners with the common goal of furthering medical education and improving patient access in the UK.
Professor David Nutt, Founder of Drug Science said: “Since its inception Drug Science has championed a rational approach to medical cannabis and led the international effort to alter the WHO opposition to it. At our conference in January it became clear that the current UK approach to developing cannabis medicines is not working as patients would like. A very clear agreement from that meeting was the importance of being able to provide evidence-based education for Doctors. We’re absolutely delighted to be able to do this to the highest quality, with MEDIC.”
Joshua Fegan, Chief Executive Officer at Althea, added: “It is great to see that our reputation for working closely with healthcare professionals has resulted in these key collaborations with Drug Science. As a free online platform, MEDIC is a fantastic resource for doctors to learn about medicinal cannabis, access clinical evidence for a range of indications and to understand the relevant Government’s available patient access pathways. Drug Science driving MEDIC in the UK makes perfect sense because Althea believes there is no higher independent authority, within the medicinal cannabis industry.”
MEDIC can be found at: www.mymedic.org.uk