LONDON, July 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A group of leading doctors have today launched Sapphire Medical Clinic in London, the first clinic in the UK which can offer access to medicinal cannabis for all conditions acknowledged to benefit from it and to do so as part of a comprehensive treatment pathway, including other conventional pharmaceutical drugs and treatments.
Dr Mikael Sodergren, Managing Director and Academic Lead at Sapphire Medical Clinics said:
"Medicinal cannabis is a new and exciting field. But it is important that access to it is delivered in a way that fits in with other treatment options. Our clinics are based on the premise that patients are treated by our world-renowned specialists in the relevant condition. We have the expertise to prescribe medicinal cannabis in a way that fits in with other more conventional treatments as and when we judge that to be in the best interest of the patients. Our service to patients will work on the basis of 'we are specialists in your condition, and our aim is to help you get better which may, or may not, involve medical cannabis, which we have the expertise to prescribe', rather than 'come to us to try medical cannabis'. Operating in this way means that doctors can have the confidence to refer their patients to us, and patients can have the confidence that we will prescribe medicinal cannabis in a way that fits in with other treatments."
Sapphire is fully controlled by the founding doctors and therefore the clinicians have complete freedom to prescribe any range of medicinal cannabis products from any available supplier.
The Sapphire team have also announced that they will build the first UK wide national database recording how patients react to medicinal cannabis.
Dr Sodergren added:
"The medical world needs more evidence about the efficacy of medicinal 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 of how medicinal cannabis has helped when properly prescribed as part of a full treatment pathway."
The Sapphire doctors are all highly qualified specialists in their respective fields and 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 paediatric & adult neurology, palliative care, psychiatry, gastroenterology, acute general medicine and neuropathic pain, and can replicate the multi-disciplinary approach championed by the MHRA and NHS England as the safe and proper way to consider medicinal 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 are prepared to offer evaluative consultations to families with children affected by intractable epilepsy for consideration of Cannabis-based products for medicinal use. There are concerns about the evidence base for the prescription of medicinal cannabis products containing THC to children in terms of both efficacy and possible future harm. These concerns are reflected in the guidance from various medical bodies and in the understandable high degree of caution currently being shown by clinicians. But we are also aware of some anecdotal cases in which parents have been able to show that medicinal cannabis containing THC has had a strong positive impact on the children concerned. Our paediatric neurology service will offer consultations to the families of the children concerned with an open mind but would reserve the right not to prescribe medicinal 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. The Sapphire team have expressed their willingness to work with the NHS to bring their unique approaching of offering access to medicinal cannabis in a way that is integrated with other treatment options to clinicians that currently lack the training and knowledge to prescribe medicinal cannabis.
Dr Platt added:
"Medicinal cannabis has enormous potential to help patients. But it is not a 'silver bullet' or 'miracle cure' and will not be appropriate for every patient. So the only way to ensure the best outcome for patients is to treat their condition using a mix of clinical interventions which may or may not include medicinal cannabis, rather than to lead on offering medicinal cannabis almost as the first option. That latter approach may not be in the best interest of the patient and will lead to data on efficacy that will not be reliable as other approaches may have been more appropriate."
Dr Sodergren added:
"As time progresses medicinal cannabis will evolve into an ever more normalised part of the treatment toolkit for a range of conditions. Our modus operandi will have the structure and rigour to allow us to play a full role in that evolution as partners in research and clinical trials and to form partnerships with the NHS and industry in future initiatives."
To refer a patient: www.sapphireclinics.com/refer-a-patient/
Sapphire Clinics London team of doctors cover the following specialisations:
Chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (CINV)
Epilepsy - Adult/Child
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Sapphire Medical Clinics Limited, 10 Harley Street, London, W1G 9PF, +44(0)20-7467-8345, firstname.lastname@example.org;