The 2020 Social Security Financing Plan (PLFSS), which allowed the experimentation of therapeutic cannabis in France, required that a report on the said experiment be submitted to Parliament 6 months before its end. The National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) had communicated the date of September 26. Parliamentarians are still waiting.
In the process of ministerial consolidation
Solicited by us, the General Directorate of Health (DGS) confirms to us that it is in possession of the reports. She wishes to consolidate them “from the elements recently received” (sic) then bring them “to the attention of Parliament within the framework of the debates on the PLFSS 2023” in mid-October.
However, the main conclusions of the report are already known. The latter is in fact constructed from the ReCann register, which monitors the progress of the experiment, feedback from the pharmacovigilance network and feedback from patients.
Part of the evaluation was therefore carried out by members of the Temporary Scientific Committee (CST) “Monitoring French experimentation in the medical use of cannabis”, who were present at a round table organized by patient associations. last Thursday at the National Assembly to try to sensitize the deputies to their cause.
A positive experience
“The conclusion of the experiment is positive, the system is operational” synthesized Nicolas Authier, president of the CST, during this event.
The overall state of health of “over 700 patients” with refractory neuropathic pain included in the medical cannabis experiment was “deemed to be improved by 30%” after six months of treatment.
Refractory neuropathic pain is “the indication that has included the most patients”. The number of patients reporting so-called unbearable pain was divided by 2.5. “Two-thirds of patients report a significant improvement in their quality of life. Regarding anxiety, at least 40% of patients reported a significant improvement”.
“One doctor out of two considers that the improvement in the overall state of health of the patient is at least important” he added, relying on feedback from the field, for lack of an available report.
The experiment was also intended to validate the distribution circuit of therapeutic cannabis and confirm that there was no possible diversion of use – of medical cannabis supplied to recreational users. These two points were reported as validated.
What is missing for the legalization of medical cannabis?
What is missing then to move to the generalization of therapeutic cannabis? According to the Ministry of Health, data, the experiment having gathered only a little more than 2100 patients at present out of the 3000 possible. This numerus clausus was, however, a budgetary formatting inherent in the format of the experiment, the medical cannabis suppliers doing it free of charge for the duration of the experiment.
But perhaps it is necessary to seek from the side of the amendments already tabled within the framework of the PLFSS. If Renaissance, under the aegis of Caroline Janvier and a transpartisan group of deputies, but also in separate texts LFI or EELV, push for a generalization of medical cannabis, two amendments propose an extension of the duration of the experiment.
The first, led by Les Républicains deputies, wants a 2-year extension. The second, carried by Horizons, the party of Edouard Philippe, expresses the desire to extend the experiment for a total period of 5 years, with a justification which takes up the elements of language of the French industrialists united under the association Santé France Cannabis : “This amendment proposes to extend the experimentation of the use of therapeutic cannabis in order to better evaluate it while structuring a French sector in the event that the measure would come to be perpetuated”.
Santé France Cannabis brings together companies such as Hemp it ADN – the varietal innovation and creation branch of HEMP-it and the National Federation of Hemp Producers, Overseed or Boiron.