UK to Test Marijuana for Cancer Pain
London, United Kingdom: A London company licensed to grow and
test medical marijuana in clinical trials is set to begin
evaluating the drug's effectiveness on patients suffering
from cancer pain.
The Phase III trial, to be administered by
GW Pharmaceuticals, will take place at more than 20 centers
throughout England and involve over 100 patients.
Patients in the trial will receive marijuana extracts via
a sublingual (under-the-tongue) spray. Previous studies by GW
Pharmaceuticals on Multiple Sclerosis and spinal cord injury
patients found that nearly 80 percent of those administered
cannabis extracts experienced a reduction in pain and an improved
quality of life.
The upcoming cancer pain study will be the first large-scale
trial to examine the analgesic effects of marijuana on
cancer-related pain. "The potential market is very significant
since approximately 40 percent of cancer sufferers at present
have unmet needs in pain suppression," GW Pharmaceuticals Chairman
Geoffrey Guy said.
In its year-end company report, Managing Director Justin Gover
reaffirmed GW's intentions to present its patient trial data to
UK regulatory authorities sometime next year. "We remain on
track to deliver our first products to market in 2004," Gover
said in a prepared statement. He added that GW had recently attained
approval from American authorities to import cannabis extracts
into the United States.
Ann's NOTE: I am concerned about this because of my belief that taking THE ACTIVE INGREDIENT of a plant, reduces its beneficial effects and may increase negative "side" effects (read as adverse effects). That is what seems to happen with most pharmaceuticals. Nature has a balance that is lost with this type of isolating of elements.
Business Wire story 2/02
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