Tetra Bio-Pharma Strengthens its Position on Bringing Marijuana to Patients in a Form Acceptable to Health Care Professionals
One in five Canadians will live with pain in their lifetime and one in two will be affected by cancer. Canadian courts have ruled in favor of patients wanting access to marijuana for relief. In response to these decisions, the Canadian government has implemented the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) to help bring marijuana to patients. Canada’s Prime Minister has been very favorable in bringing marijuana to patients but it will be up to corporations to step in and adhere to the Canadian Food and Drug regulations to bring marijuana medications to patients. Tetra is a world leader in the drug development field of cannabis-based medications and is paving the road to become the first company to commercialize a dried marijuana product as a drug in North America.
“Canadian’s are entitled to access to marijuana to treat their pain or its co-morbidities. It is not a question of social standing or a judgement if the act of ‘smoking’ is acceptable for patients. It is a fundamental right to have access to a botanical drug that can effectively allow patients to have a better quality of life,” commented Dr. Guy Chamberland, CSO of Tetra Bio-Pharma. “There is sufficient evidence suggesting that smoking marijuana is an adequate medication to help relieve pain and improve a patient’s well-being. Both of these are important aspects to offering effective therapies to patients. The challenge has been addressing quality and safety issues to meet the standards of a drug.”
Over the years our society has inherited an image that ‘smoking’ or ‘vaporizing’ is not associated with a healthy approach to health care. According to the expert committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana (National Academies Press, 2017), ‘smoking cannabis does not increase the risk for certain cancers (i.e., lung, head and neck)’. In addition, cancer patients typically consume an amount of dried marijuana per day, in dry weight, that is less than 1 tobacco cigarette, without the paper, per day. The significantly reduced amount of smoke per day is one of the explanations supporting that smoking marijuana does not increase the risk for these cancers. That said, these are effective routes of delivering a complex botanical medication. “Society has to focus on caring for all patients living with pain not just those that want a different dosage form,” commented Dr. Chamberland. He added, “In fact our challenge is to characterize the safety and efficacy of this therapy, ensure lot-to-lot quality, provide adequate risk information to health professionals, demonstrate the safety and efficacy so that physicians can adequately assess the potential efficacy and safety for their patient, and actively pursue more tolerable dosage forms to offer these innovative cannabis therapies to patients. In the end, a patient’s desire to smoke marijuana for relief has to be defended by Canadian courts and politicians. We live in a democratic society and we have to care for everyone.”
“Tetra undertook the development of PPP001 as a first prescription marijuana drug. The company is preparing its phase 3 trial in cancer patients and will assess the safety and efficacy using both the titanium pipe and vaporizer delivery systems. From Day 1, Tetra was dedicated to characterizing the safety and tolerability of consuming medical marijuana by smoking. Tetra also adopted the firm position of working transparently with regulators because the corporation believed it is important to bring marijuana, as traditionally used, to patients. Tetra will continue to work with provincial and federal governments, including physician and pharmacist professional corporations, to help address issues associated with the development and commercialization of a first prescription medical marijuana drug.”