The Colombian medical cannabis company, Khirion Life Sciences Corp, discussed during a forum the future of the health industry in the Latin American country, focusing especially on the role of cannabis. According to the company, if the private sector and the government worked together they could push the cannabis sector into new heights and improve the country’s economy.
Forums Week, with the participation of Khiron Life Sciences Corp, a leading medical cannabis company, and the University Hospital Dermatological Center Federico Lleras Acosta (CDFLLA) conducted the discussion ‘Research to innovate: the future of health.’
They did so with the objective of generating a space of reflection and analysis around the current tendencies of innovation in the world and the development of new areas of investigation in Colombia.
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Colombia’s potential in the Latin American cannabis landscape
The country has the power to investigate, generate knowledge and evidence that will allow for an improvement in the quality of life. Therefore, and taking into account that more and more countries are betting on this issue, Colombia must research in new branches of medicine and break paradigms such as that of medical cannabis.
“Today the Government is understanding this issue and the world is waiting to see what will happen with cannabis. In addition, the cannabis industry is generating jobs, not only for growers, but in different sectors,” said Alvaro Torres, co-founder, CEO, and director of Khiron.
At the moment, medical research in Colombia requires other actors to encourage it. As of May 2019, the country had only 106 clinical investigations, while in the United States the numbers reached 9,253 and in Europe 6,315. Therefore, involving the private sector may be the necessary tool for Colombia to form a medical cannabis cluster, which would boost the development, legalization, and competitiveness of the sector.
Consolidating Colombia as a cannabis pioneer in Latin America
“We have two visions in the country: on the one hand, there is the agro-industrial issue and on the other, there is the importance of the well-being of the patients. In recent weeks, we began a new era for medical cannabis in Colombia and Latin America with the approval of Invima to make available to patients the first master formulas based on medical cannabis. Six million people suffer from chronic pain and epilepsy. It is necessary to talk about the benefits cannabis will bring to patients who are suffering from conditions that have not been able to be solved by conventional medicine. We want to bring development and innovation for all of them in Latin America and, through milestones such as the possibility of acquiring a quality product and the impulse in scientific research, we are able to consolidate these goals as a reality,” said Alvaro Torres after the event.
In the weeks following the talk, Khiron Life Sciences also announced an agreement with the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey to develop an educational program that will train 1,500 doctors.
Respecting the indications of social distancing within the context of COVID-19, the professionals will train in the applications of medical cannabis, the obtaining of licenses to import and market its derivatives in Peru, as well as the implementation of telemedicine tools to provide health services to Colombian patients. The pace of these developments shows that the cannabis industry is making great strides throughout the region.
As a conclusion of the meeting, the importance of the joint work between the Government and the private sector is highlighted. Their collaboration is needed in order to consolidate a field with a great opportunity for growth, in which, through agile procedures, research, and business, benefits can be generated for patients who require a quality therapeutic alternative.
“The objective of medical cannabis is to develop new products and solutions and set an example at the global level based on evidence-based research. When we founded the company, the level of credibility was almost zero. But after the work we’ve done, we can change the lives of six million people who receive opioids, when they can have different options and also benefit the health system,” Torres added.
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