The pharmaceutical industry is undergoing a major transformation, and globally there are notable changes in the production of medicines based on the cannabis plant. Today, this reality is revolutionizing the way we treat diseases and medical conditions.
In the case of Colombia, the country is a pioneer in the use of medical cannabis in Latin America, in fact, in 2016 it was approved for the medical field, which opened the door to a new era of research and development.
Thanks to that scientific research, Colombia has a wide range of products for medical prescription, including pharmaceutical grade and master preparations in oral, sublingual, capsule, and cream presentations.
Although for decades the cannabis plant was stigmatized, it is now recognized for its properties. Its compounds, including phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, have been shown to have therapeutic effects in a variety of medical conditions such as refractory epilepsies; various types of chronic pain, including that caused by cancer; cachexia; spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis; anxiety and insomnia, among others.
In Latin America, in addition to Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile also have other regulations that have given a boost to medical cannabis and its use in the treatment of patients. Moreover, as more scientific evidence is accumulated on the indications, safety, and efficacy of cannabinoid therapies, large pharmaceutical companies and investors are showing greater interest in this market. Likewise, the efforts made in evidence-based education have served to gradually increase the number of doctors prescribing cannabinoid-based therapies to their patients.
Read more about the use of medical cannabis in Colombia, and find other important cannabis news from around the world with the Hemp.im mobile app.
Safe access to medical cannabis
But although there is progress in the medical cannabis industry in Colombia, the road is not an easy one and there are important challenges to overcome.
The first is to achieve safe access to treatments for patients, since despite the fact that Resolution 2808 issued last December dictates that as of January 1, 2023, magistral preparations based on cannabis should be covered by the PBS with resources from the UPC, it has not been possible to provide adequate coverage to patients who need it so much.
The second thing is the lack of education. In that sense, it is important that physicians and healthcare personnel have access to education based on scientific evidence regarding the functioning of the endocannabinoid system and the therapeutic applications of cannabinoids, dosage, adverse effects and drug interactions, etc.
In the academic field, there is a need for the creation of more undergraduate and graduate university programs to educate health professionals. It is also important to the role of medical/scientific societies and governmental entities in education so that safe and effective products in the treatment of different pathologies are known.
That will prevent further speculation about their uses and effectiveness. To reach this point, continuing education programs are also required to keep up to date with the latest advances in research.
Another challenge is effective communication and education to patients and the public. Added to that is a huge challenge: the slow pace in the process of implementing the law and regulations. Today it is a challenge to achieve regulatory compliance and standardization in some cases, so it is important to establish quality and safety standards to ensure that products are effective and do not pose health risks to patients.
Scientific research represents another point to be analyzed. Despite the great advances in understanding the benefits of using cannabinoid therapies, how these compounds work at the molecular level to optimize their therapeutic use, we also need to continue doing well-designed controlled studies to determine what other medical conditions may benefit and what their side effects may be.
Nowadays, the elaboration of controlled studies is costly, and the support of governmental entities and universities in the development of this research is key since in Colombia there are health professionals, doctors/scientists, with a great deal of knowledge of the functioning of the endocannabinoid system and the therapeutic applications of cannabinoids.
Finally, speculation and misleading advertising is a problem, since much of what is seen and obtained on the Internet or in the streets does not have the INVIMA sanitary registration.
With the support of the government and the private sector, the medical cannabis industry in Colombia has the potential to become an important driver of economic growth and social development.
The country has the potential to be a leader in Latin America, and medical cannabis has the capacity to revolutionize the way diseases and medical conditions are treated, offering safe and effective treatments based on scientific evidence. With the right investment in research, regulation, and education, the medical cannabis industry will be able to grow further and play an increasingly important role.
DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Born2Invest, its management, staff or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.
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First published in Semana. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
Although we made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translations, some parts may be incorrect. Born2Invest assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translations provided on this website. Any person or entity relying on translated content does so at their own risk. Born2Invest is not responsible for losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated information. If you wish to report an error or inaccuracy in the translation, we encourage you to contact us.
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