Questioned by MP Caroline Janvier during the Social Affairs Committee of the National Assembly linked to the examination of the PLFSS 2024, the French Minister of Health, Aurélien Rousseau, indicated on Wednesday October 11 that the experimentation of medical cannabis would take end in 2024 without generalization.
He specified that a solution would be put in place for current participants in the experiment, who should be able to continue to receive their treatments.
However, Mr Rousseau confirmed the positive conclusions reported by patients, which the experiment set up to evaluate the prescription and distribution circuit for therapeutic cannabis was not supposed to measure.
“We are in a situation where we have clinical feedback which shows a benefit for the patient,” said Mr Rousseau.
He then took refuge behind the absence of marketing authorization on a European scale for medical cannabis to explain the refusal to generalize. 20 countries in Europe, including Germany, already make cannabis-based treatments available.
He specified that such authorization should be available by 2025, otherwise compassionate access, by definition very restrictive, could be put in place.
???? access to cannabinoid-based medicines (“medical cannabis”): listen to the commitments of the Minister of Health @aur_rousseau following a question from the MP @CarolineJanvier before the social affairs commission of the@AssembleeNat 11/10/23 ????️ #pain #cancer pic.twitter.com/kAQyh05CpR
— Nicolas Authier (@NicolasAuthier_) October 12, 2023
In the meantime, an amendment to the social security budget (PLFSS 2024) should be proposed to ensure that all participants in the experiment can continue to benefit from it.
Numerous patient associations, French medical cannabis companies and a transpartisan collective of deputies had mobilized to include the generalization of medical cannabis in the PLFSS 2024. In this latest column, published on Libération, we could read that “ignore the positive results of the experiment and not generalizing access to medical cannabis in 2024 would be a betrayal for those who suffer, in particular from cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis or other chronic pain.
Medical cannabis could help 300,000 sick French people in the medium term and bring in almost 300 million euros per year.