HIF's high hopes for global medicinal cannabis study

Study aims to determine whether medical cannabis reduces the economic impact of diseases

HIF's high hopes for global medicinal cannabis study

Life & Health

By Roxanne Libatique

HIF is supporting a global medicinal cannabis study in Australia, with its members to get priority access.

The QUEST Global study is led by led by Curtin University, sponsored by medicinal cannabis supplier Little Green Pharma (LGP), and supported by HIF.

It aims to determine whether medical cannabis reduces the economic impact of chronic diseases by reducing the number of medications patients require and their need for healthcare services.

For the next phase of the study, eligible HIF members have priority access as participants. They may access medicinal cannabis products at a discounted rate and receive benefits towards the medicinal cannabis products that are part of the study.

“At HIF, our focus is on providing more choice and access to our members when it comes to treatment. We believe this study, like the QUEST Initiative, will provide insights that will be valuable not just to HIF and its members but the industry as a whole,” said HIF CEO Justin James.

Addressing health challenges

The study follows the award-winning QUEST initiative, which showed significant improvement in participant quality of life indicators, including metrics such as mobility, functionality, pain, sleep issues, anxiety, and depression.

“People living with chronic conditions such as pain, anxiety, insomnia, and mood, development, or movement disorders face significant challenges that impact their everyday life. Using medicinal cannabis as a treatment option can help to improve their outcomes and reduce their level of suffering and this study is an opportunity to quantify this,” said lead researcher associate professor Richard Norman, from Curtin's School of Population Health. “As part of the study, participants can access pharmaceutical-grade cannabis oils and flower medications made locally, as well as book a range of affordable, independent doctors who are experienced medical cannabis prescribers.

“We hope to gain more information about the benefits of using medicinal cannabis to treat chronic conditions and how we can make these types of medications more economical going forward.”

LGP head of research and innovation Dr Leon Warne said the study will assess changes in participant conditions, symptoms, and economic factors related to health using self-reported outcomes.

“Information on patient quality of life via mobility, functionality, pain or discomfort, sleep issues, anxiety and depression, medication, and health service utilisation will also be collected and analysed,” Dr Warne said. “The increased focus on health economics in QUEST Global will mean ongoing costs will be analysed and provide a framework for thinking about how Australia should allocate its limited health resources to meet people's demands and needs for health care services, health promotion, and prevention.”

The QUEST Global study will be conducted over five years and has no cap on candidate numbers.

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