Canopy Growth’s U.K. subsidiary Spectrum Therapeutics has become the first in the country to secure a bulk import licence for cannabis medicine.
The Financial Times reports that Spectrum has secured permission from the Home Office to import cannabis from Canopy’s operations in Germany and Denmark. While there are many pressing issues with the U.K. medical cannabis regime an added frustration for the few patients prescribed medicine has been the delay in securing it.
With licences granted on a prescription-by-prescription basis patients can wait up to three months for specialist wholesalers to be granted a cannabis import licence and transport the product to the U.K.
Cannabis Cost Down 30%
The FT reports that 1,765 prescriptions have been issued in the U.K. since last November, with many of these being repeats to the same patients. Paul Steckler, managing director of Canopy’s European business, told the FT the new agreement means it can now distribute medicine within 24 hours and its Buckinghamshire warehouse has the capacity to supply 5,000 patients a month.
Meanwhile, the company which imported the first cannabis medicine in the U.K says the average cost of cannabis medicine in the U.K. has fallen by almost 30%. Logist – a partnership between Grow Biotech and IPS Pharma – says it has fulfilled 92 prescriptions to over 40 patients since the U.K. law change last November
In a press release Logist says the average price of a month’s supply of medical cannabis imported has dropped from £750 to £550.
New Delivery Methods Adopted
The type of medical specialist consultants writing prescriptions for medical cannabis has also diversified to include pain, oncology and neurology. There has also been a broadening in the delivery method for medical cannabis requested by specialist consultants to include different cannabis oils, pills and flowers.
Since February, Logist has imported approximately 1.5kg of flower to the U.K., and works in partnership with Canadian company Aurora and Australian firm MGC Pharmaceuticals. Looking to the future of medical cannabis in the U.K. Chief Operating Officer of Grow Biotech, Hari Guliani, said it expects to see a ‘greater engagement’ with the UK’s medical community in ‘understanding how cannabis might help their patients’.
“We are expecting leading consultants to publish papers on the impact they have seen on their patients, as well as evidence gathered through MHRA-approved trials. This will significantly improve the data available to regulators, policymakers and NICE,” he added.
Ben Langley, Chief Executive Officer of Grow Biotech said the U.K. is seeing a ‘massive increase in funding especially from North America’. Adding that this is likely to accelerate as European medical cannabis gradually establishes itself as an ‘attractive asset class for global capital and European equity exchanges start to open their doors to cannabis companies’.
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