Currently Viewing:
Newsroom
Currently Reading
Analysis Outlines Global Burden of Multiple Myeloma, Access to Effective Treatments
May 26, 2018 – Laura Joszt
Two Studies Evaluate Non-Tuberculous Mycobacterium Causes and Identification
May 25, 2018 – Alison Rodriguez
UnitedHealthcare, Quest Diagnostics Create Value-Based Care Arrangement for Laboratory Services
May 25, 2018 – Allison Inserro
Studies Investigate Exacerbations for Patients With COPD
May 25, 2018 – Alison Rodriguez
ADA Issues Recommendations Designed to Fix Insulin Pricing, Accessibility Crisis
May 25, 2018 – Allison Inserro
5 Abstracts to Look for at ASCO 2018
May 25, 2018 – Samantha DiGrande
This Week in Managed Care: May 25, 2018
May 25, 2018
AJMC® in the Press, May 25, 2018
May 25, 2018 – AJMC Staff
What We're Reading: Pfizer Kickback Case; Concerns for Association Health Plans; Swallowable Sensor
May 25, 2018 – Laura Joszt

VA Won't Research Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain or PTSD Among Veterans

Laura Joszt
An inquiry by 10 Democrats on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs into whether or not the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would research medical marijuana in veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain was met with denial.
An inquiry by 10 Democrats on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs into whether or not the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would research medical marijuana in veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain was met with denial.

In a letter to Representative Tim Walz, D-Minnesota, ranking member of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, wrote in a letter that the VA would not conduct research into medical marijuana because federal law prohibits it. The law also prohibits the VA from referring veterans to any projects researching medical marijuana.

Walz and his fellow Democrats had reached out to Shulkin and the VA because they felt the VA was “uniquely situated to pursue research” into medical marijuana due to its access to world-class researchers and history of service to veterans. He added that “VA research into medical marijuana for veterans suffering from chronic pain and posttraumatic stress disorder is past due…”

Shulkin noted in his response that there is “a rapidly increasing body of evidence” that supports other treatments for chronic pain, such as exercise, yoga, mindfulness, acupuncture, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

“I have heard the stories of veterans who have used cannabis medicinally to help them cope with physical and psychological injuries of war," Walz said in a statement in response to the letter. “Not only have I heard these stories, but I know Secretary Shulkin, who still practices medicine at VA, has heard them as well. That is why I found VA's response to my October 26 letter so disappointing and unacceptable.”

Chronic pain is pervasive among veterans. In 2015, the VA reported that about 60% of veterans returning from combat deployment suffer from chronic pain. Only 30% of Americans nationwide experience chronic pain. A survey by the American Legion found that 22% of veterans are currently using marijuana to treat a medical condition, and that 92% of all veterans support research into medical marijuana.

On January 16, Walz and his fellow Democrats wrote another letter to Shulkin as a follow up to his response.

“While we share your dedication to improving the care of veterans with chronic pain and PTSD, we are concerned VA has not explored all treatment options,” they wrote. “We urge you to join us and the 90% of veterans who are in favor of VA research into medical cannabis.”

 
Copyright AJMC 2006-2018 Clinical Care Targeted Communications Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
x
Welcome the the new and improved AJMC.com, the premier managed market network. Tell us about yourself so that we can serve you better.
Sign Up
×

Sign In

Not a member? Sign up now!