GW Pharmaceuticals plans medicinal marijuana trials in Canada


GW Pharmaceuticals plans medicinal marijuana trials in Canada

10  June  1999

The Canadian Government is considering a proposal from GW Pharmaceuticals to investigate the uses of non-smoked marijuana as a medicine. GW, based in the UK, has established a Canadian company which would conduct clinical trials and study delivery methods other than smoking.

Dr Geoffrey Guy, Chairman of GW Pharmaceuticals said, "Health Canada has recognised the great need for marijuana-based medicines in the treatment of many different conditions and we would be delighted to be a part of its programme. We see this as an impressive and bold initiative in acknowledging and actively addressing the issue of medicinal marijuana." The objectives of the clinical trials would be:

to establish a pilot programme (100 patients) which can be expanded if required to a full programme, eventually leading to a licensed prescription medicine.

Dr Guy added, "There is a considerable body of evidence to suggest that marijuana may have a number of medicinal uses: for the relief of pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis; for painrelief in other neurological disorders, such as paraplegia and neuralgia; as an appetite stimulant in treating AIDS patients with wasting disease; for the prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy; and in the eye disease, glaucoma. But to date therehave been no controlled clinical trials in Canada. Our aim would be to establish the medical facts."