Industry Briefs November 2023

Medical Cannabis Use Can Change with HCP Participation

The medical cannabis industry has been changing for years and while it is more widely used in a medical capacity, a new study by EO Care, Inc. shows what kind of shift we’d see in the industry if this medicinal use were covered in their health plans. After surveying employed people in parts of the U.S. where cannabis is legal, the study finds 18% of respondents have used cannabis for health reasons in the past year, but 51% would be likely/very likely to use cannabis if it were offered by their health plan. In addition, 65% of respondents would feel more comfortable using cannabis if it were screened and dosed by a clinician.

“Finding clinical guidance for medicinal cannabis is difficult because most doctors lack the knowledge and retail dispensaries are not equipped to provide medical advice,” said Sean Collins, Co-founder and CEO of EO Care. “As a result, we have tens of millions of Americans using cannabis for health reasons without guidance on specific product recommendations, dosage amounts, possible drug interactions, or consideration of their health history and other potential health risks. Given that sales of cannabis for health reasons is far higher than most prescription drugs, this is a highly concerning situation for healthcare generally.”

Results showed that the most common uses for cannabis are to address anxiety, pain, and sleep issues. Additionally, 88% of medical cannabis users say it reduced their use of prescription drugs, alcohol, or both, which is a notable finding that might attract more HCPs to consider the drug as an alternative therapy and become more informed about its uses.

Inizio Engage Launches New Brand

The creative engagement partner has announced the launch of a new brand called Nazaré, a learning and capability brand. Nazaré is combining learning, life sciences, creativity, technology, and behavioral science to transform workplace learning in order to help companies maintain their leadership in evolving competitive landscapes by unlocking the potential of their people.

The brand will be part of the Experience Design (XD) specialist area within Inizio Engage and bring together Axiom, Cormis, Logicearth Learning Services, and Ashfield Excellence Academy under one brand. The mission will be to support global organizations with a range of learning and capability programs, with an unparalleled level of expertise in end-to-end life sciences learning support for pharmaceutical and biotech companies across the product lifecycle. Nazaré will focus on designing and delivering world-class learning experiences that inspire an immediate and lasting change in performance.

Charlotte Morris, Global Managing Director, Nazaré, stated, “The launch of Nazaré is incredibly exciting because it means unlike other training providers, we go beyond simple knowledge transfer—we combine science, creativity, and technology to redefine the practice of instructional design. This enables us to transform the behavior of our clients’ people and the success of their businesses at the most pivotal moments.”

U.S. to Introduce AI Safety in the Biotech Sector

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes used for more work in the pharma and biotech space, the U.S. government is scrambling to establish guidelines for AI security and requirements for developers to share their safety test results. Several companies are using AI platforms to save months of work over the traditional R&D process and get drugs to the clinical phase faster, but AI-generated drug compounds have yet to be approved by the FDA.

Meanwhile the number of AI/machine learning (ML) medical devices that have received 510(k) green lights, de novo clearances, and premarket approvals have grown since 2020 and spell an influx in approvals to come. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) now houses the new U.S. AI Safety Institute, which will develop technical guidance for future regulatory rulemaking and enforcement efforts to come.


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