To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on 20 May 2019, Official Report, column, 571, what plans he has to include observational trials in building up the existing evidence-base.
In all areas of scientific research, a range of evidence builds our understanding. This includes individual cases and observational trials. It is the promise shown from these observational studies and experience, from all around the world, that provides the basis for public funding of further research into the use of cannabis based products as medicines through the National Institute for Health Research. This further clinical research will provide a greater level of understanding of cannabis-based medicines, how to use them to best effect, who may benefit and under what circumstances, how cannabis interacts with other medications and define further any contraindications. It is this level of research outcomes that will provide confidence to prescribers and the information necessary to make routine funding decisions within the National Health Service.
The existing experience, studies and research in this area will be used by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to develop their clinical guidelines due to be published later this year.