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Continued from Last……
In the last part on the topic of Cannabis in Medicine, we shall see how does the future look for Cannabis Based Drugs (CBDs).
Last year, the Pharma Market Magazine ran an article by its editor Lucy Muniz. It was titled ‘Research Shows Medical Cannabis to Become Major Part of Pharmaceutical Market’(1). The article nicely summarizes trends and gives pointer to the future. Couple of quotes are worth sharing.
“According to a research report by New Frontier Data, medical marijuana sales are forecast to grow to $5.3 billion in 2017, accounting for 67% of total cannabis sales. Medical sales in currently legal states are forecast to grow to $13.2 billion by 2025, at which point medical sales will account for 55% of all sales. In comparison, adult-use sales in 2017 are forecast to reach $2.6 billion, rising to $10.9 billion by 2025. Medical cannabis products are known to be beneficial for such conditions as chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep disorders, anxiety, nerve pain and others.” (1)
“The research points out that the United States constitutes 35% of the global pharmaceutical market, the largest market in the world, and a major driver of the U.S. economy, and it is estimated that cannabis and related products can replace $4.4 billion to $4.9 billion per year of current spending on existing treatments. “Looking at these numbers, it would appear that medical cannabis would be a drop in the bucket when it comes to impacting the total pharmaceutical industry. However, when you start to break down the numbers by specific sectors of the industry, like chronic pain or symptoms associated with chemotherapy, which are very lucrative markets for pharmaceutical companies, you will certainly see cannabis have a major impact,” said Aguirre De Carcer, CEO of New Frontier Data”. (1)
United States is in the forefront of research and development and approval of Marijuana derived pharmaceutical products.
Britain is close to legalizing use of medical Marijuana; so are many other countries in Europe and elsewhere. Pakistan has not woken up to this development as yet; in fact, most Asian countries do not appear to be keen to go in this direction. One major reason may be the lack of controls to regulate the use of medical Marijuana. This is a genuine risk which can make things go out of hand if it is about legalizing the use of Cannabis in certain medical conditions. Hopefully, we may see some Cannabis Based pharmaceutical products registered, imported and marketed here in this category.
A large body of evidence so far points out that Cannabis Based or Derived Drugs open up a whole new and large avenue for developing useful drugs for the benefit of patients in several therapeutic areas. As mentioned before, over one hundred types of Cannabinoid compounds have been identified already and many more are in development. The psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has also been isolated and refined.
Cannabis Based Drugs (CBDs) hold a huge promise for future. Pakistan should also join the research activity Relevant authorities should not stick to the old thinking about Cannabis and facilitate research, funding and necessary approvals.