Start of French medical cannabis pilot programme postponed to January 2021

Eveline Van Keymeulen

Today, the French Medicines Agency (ANSM) and the Health Ministry published an update on the continuance of the work of the Scientific Committee (CST) with respect to the French medical cannabis pilot programme.

The update confirms that, following the activities carried out since 2018, the Directorate General for Health (DGS) and the ANSM remain fully committed to setting up the medical cannabis pilot programme in France.  However, it has now been clarified officially that, due to the necessary mobilisation of the health authorities on the management of the COVID-19 epidemic, the start of the pilot, which was planned for September 2020, has been postponed until January 2021 at the latest.

The update also mentions that the ANSM and DGS, in collaboration with the CST and the learned societies involved, have meanwhile completed the following tasks which are necessary for the future implementation of the pilot programme:

  • the criteria for inclusion and non-inclusion of patients;
  • the design of the national electronic register for monitoring patients included in the pilot programme;
  • the specifications/statement of works allowing the selection of future suppliers and distributors of cannabis-based medicines used in the pilot programme;
  • the establishment of the training platform for health professionals expected to be operational in December 2020);
  • the list of volunteer expert centers that will include patients in the pilot programme.

The update announces that more information on the aforementioned elements will be made publicly available in a specific decree, the publication of which is expected “by summer.”

For more information about the development of the French medical cannabis pilot programme, see our previous updates here, here, here, and here.

This article was co-authored by Alexis Vaujany.  

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