Jamaica says it’s nearly ready to introduce its own CBD for hepatitis drug. Results of an in vitro trial have been kept under wraps for more than two years, but scientists have finally disclosed them to the public says the Jamaica Observer. The group of scientists working on the medicine is led by well-known doctor Henry Lowe, a research scientist specializing in medical chemistry with 50 years’ experience in the field.
Awaiting local approval
Lowe says the medical community is eager for the Jamaican Ministry of Health to approve uncomplicated pharmaceutical drugs. It is growing impatient with waiting for the FDA to approve new medicines in a lengthy and costly process.
The discovery holds great potential for developing countries where hepatitis C is most prevalent and treatment unaffordable. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest report states that between 130 million to 150 million people suffer from chronic hepatitis C globally. Currently, treatment costs more than $85,000 per patient.
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Data sufficient to go to trial
Lowe says this is a big breakthrough. On the basis of data gathered thus far, the research team hopes to start clinical trials by next year. He is also positive about developing a “nutraceutical” product. A food containing health-giving additives and having medicinal benefit could be ready for marketing by the end of 2018.
Lowe says that the researchers are talking to the South African Government about research and development on cannabis to open a gateway for products to the developing world.
Hepatitis C causes many deaths
A cheap hepatitis C treatment will be good news, saving many lives. A great number of patients suffering chronic hepatitis C develop liver cirrhosis or cancer of the liver. An estimated 350,000 to 500,000 people die annually of hepatitis C-related illness. This disease can be an ailment that only lasts a few weeks or it can be a serious lifelong disease affecting the liver. It is spread primarily by hypodermic needle reuse or through blood contact.
Currently, there is no vaccine against hepatitis C. In 2014 scientists claimed a vaccine would be on the market within 18 months. However, it failed to materialize. Antiviral medication is successful in 50-90% of patients if they are diagnosed and have access to treatment. However, the treatment is very costly.
CBD for hepatitis C virus
Dr. Lowe and his colleagues, Jamaican Dr. Wayne McLaughlin, and Cameroonian Dr. Ngeh Toyang, found that CBD for hepatitis C could be effective after in vitro trials. If the treatment can pass clinical trials, it may change the way the disease is treated in future.
Readers are skeptical about the discovery resulting in a medicine. According to one reader quoting Wikipedia, only 10% of drugs on clinical trial get approved in the long run. However, if Lowe and his team are successful in clinical trials using CBD for hepatitis C, it would be a very important discovery benefiting millions of people.