Cannabis helps 70% of patients: Anutin

Cannabis helps 70% of patients: Anutin

At least 70% of patients in over 300 medical cannabis clinics that have opened nationwide say their symptoms have improved since starting treatment, according to Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul. Mr Anutin made the claim at a training session on the use of medical cannabis extracts in Muang district of Buri Ram yesterday.

 Mr Anutin made the claim at a training session on the use of medical cannabis extracts in Muang district of Buri Ram on Wednesday.

Some 150 physicians and pharmacists from the 9th Public Health Region participated in the training session that was also attended by the permanent secretary for public health, Kiattiphum Wongrajit and Department of Medical Services director-general, Somsak Akksilp.

The training was done via a video call to the 7th Public Health Region to share medical knowledge and technology insights into the best way to use medical cannabis.

Mr Anutin, who is also deputy prime minister, said the ministry will promote the use of medical cannabis to help patients who need it. He said 311 medical cannabis clinics at hospitals have provided treatment for over 14,200 people, most suffering from terminal cancer. The rest are patients with Parkinson's disease, drug-resistant neuropathic pain, insomnia and other ailments. Over 98% said they experienced no side effects.

Many of the clinics have hotlines to give advice on medical cannabis, a system to help patients who need palliative care and online registration for those wishing to receive consultation about the use of medical cannabis.

Dr Somsak said his department is making steady progress in educating health workers nationwide.

Since 2019, around 11,750 health workers from his department and the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine have received training, he said.

Hospitals qualified to operate medical cannabis clinics are required to obtain a medical cannabis licence issued by the Food and Drug Administration, certified professionals and a symptom tracking system, he said.

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