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STEVE ELLIOTT

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Two of every three patients who start medicinal cannabis stop using opioid painkillers, according to preliminary results of a new study from Aclara Research.

Aclara, which specializes in patient and consumer insights within the cannabis industry, on Wednesday released the preliminary results of their latest study examining patient usage of medical cannabis and the impact on prescription opioid usage.

The study, which was conducted in partnership with a group of pharmacist professionals active within the cannabis industry, found that 67 percent of patients stopped using opioid medications after using medical cannabis. The study further went on to find that 30 percent of patients stopped using prescription drugs completely after using medical cannabis.

Pharmacist and customer with medical marijuana
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An overwhelming 87 percent of pharmacists participating in the study said cannabis should be legal for medicinal use
[HuffPost Canada]

The study also examined pharmacist perception of medical cannabis and their role in dispensing and counseling patients.

Aclara and the participating pharmacists partnered with patient advocacy groups, dispensaries and the National Community Pharmacists Association to field online surveys of each audience, resulting in more than 400 patients and 500 pharmacists nationwide.

While Aclara Research says the full study will be released in early 2018, key preliminary findings from the research study include:

  • Sixty-seven percent of patients stopped using opioid medications after using medical cannabis. In addition, 29 percent of patients reported a decrease in the number of opioid medications after starting medical cannabis.
  • Thirty percent of study respondents stopped using all prescription drugs after using medical cannabis.
  • Eighty-seven percent of pharmacists participating in the study said cannabis should be legal for medical usage. Only 15 percent of patients are talking to their pharmacist about medical cannabis. Instead, more than 40 percent of patients said they obtain information about medical cannabis from the internet and social media.
  • More than 60 percent of patients that reported decreasing their usage of prescription drugs after using medical cannabis, also reported making fewer monthly trips to their pharmacy retailer.
  • Sixty-nine percent of the pharmacists surveyed believe that pharmacists should dispense medical cannabis AND counsel patients. Currently, there are only five states that require pharmacist involvement in medical cannabis dispensaries: Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and Arkansas.

Aclara Founder To Attend, Speak At Pharmacists’ Convention Nov. 3-4

Aclara Research founder Carmen Brace, who led the study in partnership with the below listed medical cannabis and pharmaceutical experts, will be attending and speaking at the upcoming American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) Convention November 3 and 4 in Kissimmee, Florida.

  • Luba Andrus, RPh, Vice President of Patient Care, MedMar Dispensaries of Illinois
  • Anne Berg, PharmD, Consultant Pharmacist
  • Bradley Carlson, PharmD, RPh, Director of Pharmacy, Keystone Canna Remedies and Principal, CannaRPh
  • Joseph Friedman, RPh, COO of PDI Medical Dispensary of Illinois and Principal, CannaRPh

Aclara Research will continue examining results of this study in conjunction with pharmacy partners through qualitative research among both patients and adult consumers that have used cannabis to eliminate or decrease prescription drug and opioid usage. Final study results will be released in January 2018.

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