01 Nov NICE Rejects UK’s Most Eminent Medicinal Cannabis Clinician From Advisory Committee

Professor Mike Barnes, the UK’s Pre-Eminent Clinician In Medicinal Cannabis

If the UK was setting up an expert committee on fertility and Professor Robert Winston applied to join, he’d be welcomed with open arms. If we were setting up a committee on the origin of the universe and Professor Brian Cox applied, there’s no question he’d be appointed. But NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, yesterday rejected Professor Mike Barnes’ application to join its committee on cannabis-based products for medicinal use.

This follows the appointment of an expert panel in the summer for which FOI Requests revealed that not one member had any knowledge, experience or expertise in cannabis as medicine. And yesterday, prescribing guidelines were issued by NHS England which are absurd in how restrictive they are. In effect they say ‘do not prescribe’.

The new regulations introduced by Sajid Javid are a breakthrough in UK drugs policy. They offer tremendous hope to millions of people for whom conventional medicine has failed but the response of the medical establishment is dreadful. It’s not doctors’ fault that they have been prevented from learning about cannabis but we now need all the expertise that we can possibly get. Rejecting Professor Mike Barnes’ advice is ridiculous and someone, perhaps Sajid Javid himself, needs to step in and put this right.