On July 24, 2019 , a group of leading doctors have launched Sapphire Medical Clinic in London. It is the first clinic in the UK which can offer access to medical cannabis for all conditions acknowledged to benefit from it. The Sapphire Medical Clinic team also announced that they will build the first UK wide national database recording how patients react to medical cannabis.
Dr. Mikael Sodergren, Managing Director, and Academic Lead at Sapphire Medical Clinics said that “Medical cannabis is a new and exciting field. But it is important that access to it is in a way that fits in with other treatment options. Our clinics are based on the premise that doctors treat patients in the relevant condition. To clarify, we have the expertise to prescribe medical cannabis in a way that fits in with other more conventional treatments.”
Dr. Mikael Sodergen speaks about their services
“Also, our decision must be in the best interest of the patients. Our service to patients will work on the basis of ‘we are specialists in your condition. Our aim is to help you get better which may involve medical cannabis. We have the expertise to prescribe it’, rather than ‘come to us to try medical cannabis’. So, operating in this way means that doctors can have the confidence to refer their patients to us. Patients can have the confidence that we will prescribe medical cannabis in a way that fits in with other treatments.”
Founding doctors control Sapphire. Therefore, the clinicians have complete freedom to prescribe any range of medical cannabis products from any available supplier.
The Sapphire team also announced that they will build the first UK wide national database recording how patients react to medical cannabis.
Dr. Sodergren added:
“The medical world needs more evidence about the efficacy of medical cannabis and our national database will be a major contribution to meet that need. It will be the first to have meaningful and consistent data on how medical cannabis helped when properly prescribed as part of a full treatment pathway.”
The Sapphire doctors have high qualifications in their respective fields. They include world-leading experts such as pain specialist Dr. Michael Platt, who frequently treats complex patients referred from the UK and abroad. In addition, the Sapphire team includes specialists in pediatric & adult neurology, palliative care, psychiatry, gastroenterology. It can replicate the multi-disciplinary approach championed by the MHRA and NHS England as the safe and proper way to consider medical cannabis prescriptions.
It has been widely reported in the media that parents with children suffering from intractable epilepsy continue to experience difficulties in securing prescriptions for medical cannabis products containing THC.
Dr. Michael Platt, Medical Director of Sapphire Medical Clinics said:
“As part of our portfolio of services we prepare to offer evaluative consultations to families with children who have epilepsy. This is for consideration of Cannabis-based products for medicinal use. Also, there are concerns about the evidence base for the prescription of medical cannabis products containing THC to children.
Our pediatric neurology service will offer consultations to the families of the children concerned. It will do that with an open mind, but would reserve the right not to prescribe medical cannabis containing THC.”
The Harley Street based clinic is the first of what will grow into a national network. It will primarily work on a second opinion basis accepting referrals from GPs and other specialists.
Moreover, the Sapphire team have expressed their willingness to work with the NHS. This is to bring their unique approaching of offering access to medical cannabis, in a way that integrates with other treatment options, to clinicians that currently lack the training and knowledge to prescribe medical cannabis.
(Featured Image by Henry Be)
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