The Dutch government is issuing a second round of funding for medical cannabis research.
According to an official statement, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport has commissioned the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) to fund research that evaluates the effectiveness of medical cannabis in children.
This follows a round of €1.9 million provided by the Netherlands last November for research on cannabis as treatment for neuropathic pain.
It also comes after another study published in December that showed a combination of CBD and THC products reduced seizures in almost all patients in a small group of 10 children with epilepsy.
The new research will aim to confirm that medical cannabis reduces the frequency or severity of seizures in children with treatment-resistant epilepsy. Secondary topics include quality of life, side effects and cost.
ZonMw says the funds will be awarded to one party that will address the research points in an integrated plan. That party will also have relevant experience in clinical research with children.
A maximum of €1.4 million (around C$2.1 million) is available for a project with a maximum span of four years. Part of the budget must be used to produce a standard research product.
For the research awarded last year, the product was supplied by Bedrocan. The EU GMP certified producer is a supplier of medical cannabis to the Dutch government and makes a high-CBD product called Bedrolite.
Following a June 2020 epilepsy guideline, pharmaceutical cannabidiol can be prescribed to Dutch children from 2–18 years old with treatment-resistant Dravet syndrome or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Oil made from Bedrolite is sold to these patients in the Netherlands and several other countries. According to Bedrocan, at the beginning of this year the Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board put cannabidiol used by patients with epilepsy on a list of medicines where switching manufacturers isn’t recommended.