A group of researchers in the UK, from the University of York, are conducting a study that will demonstrate the economic impact of introducing cannabis to the NHS. The study anticipates a positive finding implying that having cannabis on the NHS is cost-effective. The researchers will use an economic modeling tool that factors in costs, resources, and utility that comes with having NHS doctors prescribe medical cannabis for chronic pain. The tool is formulated with certain “scientific assumptions” taken into consideration.
The study will compare the costs and outcomes of prescribing medical cannabis vis-a-vis those of prescribing standard chronic pain medications and it will run for a period of one year. It will provide real-world evidence and helpful recommendations to guide policymakers in improving access to medical cannabis.
Professor Mike Barnes, chair of the CIC has stated that this study is very crucial. “We need to show that cannabis can be introduced to the NHS at net-zero cost, which I think will be the case, however, we still need to prove it. I don’t want to pre-judge the result, but the health economic paper will hopefully achieve this,” he said.