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Health House leads drive for knowledge

14 January 2022 10:43
ASX: HHI

Health House International boss David Attwood says people are motivated to use medicinal cannabis for treating various conditions, including chronic pain, nausea from cancer chemotherapy, and even improving appetite during illness. He says developing the most optimal pharmaceutical-grade cannabis treatments requires a patient-centric approach. 

Recent moves by Health House have placed the international cannabis distributor front-row centre in Germany with doctors and their patients.  At the end of 2021, its German medicinal cannabis distributor, CanPharma, launched an observational trial of cannabis extracts usage with German doctors and patients and another German subsidiary, Kalapa Germany, took a stake in a German Patient Support Programme specialist to collaborate in future activities, including generating real-world evidence data. 

On Monday, CanPharma announced a German pioneering cannabis collaboration partnership with the North-Rhine German Association of General Practitioners (NR Association of GP’s), delivering a series of educational training for the GPs in early 2022. 

Attwood says the initiatives will help medicinal cannabis players catch-up against traditional medicines by improving understanding of patient and doctor needs and thus help CanPharma distribute the best products in the best manner. 

“We intend to deeply understand the path to patient in this new and rapidly evolving medical frontier,” Attwood says.  

“The patient support programme is pharmaceutical industry best practice enabling support for patients outside of direct contact with their doctor. Kalapa has developed the first German PSP for cannabis medicine which will support patients who receive products from group company, CanPharma. 

“We also look forward to sharing Kalapa Clinic’s knowledge and expertise in this area with the NR Association of GP’s because our goal is to work with doctors to help them provide the best and safest therapy options to patients.”

How do you think these initiatives setCanPharma(Germany) apart from your peers?  

“CanPharma has both cannabis and pharma in its DNA —we see the pharma focus as going beyond simple distribution to pharmacies which is where a lot of players stop.  

“Our holistic data-driven approach is highly innovative in our industry, creating a virtuous feedback loop between doctors, patients, suppliers and ourselves as medicinal cannabis converges with the mainstream pharma sector.” 

 Why is training doctors so important with medicinal cannabis? 

 “Given the historical prohibition of cannabis as a medicine and the relatively recent discovery of the endocannabinoid system, most doctors have simply not been educated in the potential benefits of the product nor how to prescribe. Growth in the industry will come as more doctors become educated to balance the benefits and risks of medicinal cannabis when determining the optimal treatment for patients” 

“In Germany, the initial contact for accessing healthcare is usually the family General Practitioner. The NR Association of GP’ represents around 2,500 doctors and one of 18 regional groups in the largest Federal association of GPs that has 30,000 members.  

“It is hoped that this first collaboration, designed as a pilot project, will expand to other regional groups in the Federal association in the future.  

What do you regard as the most critical role for the Observational Trial and Patient Support Program?

“If the patient is not using cannabis treatments properly, then they are unlikely to have the effect of which they are seeking, meaning they will likely stop using it.  

“The observational trial will help us to develop a unique understanding of patient and doctor needs and the PSP will support patients in their usage. Enhancing trust in Health House from every part of the value chain – from suppliers to patients – will make sure patients get the best treatments, and our shareholders benefit from our strong reputation and understanding of the market.  

How do you think the German-based programmes will assist HHI’s broader global expansion goals?

“The approach will provide valuable insights on product usage from Europe´s largest market across our international group. 

“Our intimate understanding of market participants will generate synergies through a deep understanding of patient needs and enable us to become a favoured partner of global suppliers.    

“We believe education is one of the key drivers of growth and designing the collaboration in a way that can be rolled out to not just Germany, particularly other European countries as legislation changes, and be support HHI’s expansion plans.  

 Q. What type of products do you consider most likely to be part of the next stage of development?  

“Product development has been hindered by regulation until only recently. It is our intent that our pharma-focused approach will enable us to contribute to this.  

“Work must focus on the standardisation of dosing and delivery mechanisms. 

“We know developing safe, consistent products takes time, but in the short term, I expect a move away from flower and bottled extracts and towards new form factors (e.g., inhalers) and drug delivery mechanisms focused on giving consistency of dose.” 

HHI’s Australian Stock Exchange-listed price is trading at 8.2c (10:32 am UTC+8 hours) 

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