The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has called for changes to allow for the unrestricted, legitimate research of controlled drugs in response to a consultation from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD).

In a statement, the RPS said that barriers that impact research with controlled drugs – other than synthetic cannabinoids – should be removed.

It also said that allowing for more flexibility around licensing, storage, formulation and clinically supply of controlled drugs would enable fundamental research in the UK to occur.

“The UK is a world-leader in the life sciences sector. It’s important we’re given the best opportunity to support the development of new medicines that can help patients get the treatment that they need,” said Gino Martini, chief scientist at the RPS.

“We need to make the most of our incredible pharmaceutical infrastructure and ensure it’s easier to gain licences for the research of controlled drugs, which ultimately can help to enhance patient care,” he added.

The RPS comments were made in response to the ACMD’s latest call for evidence on barriers to research for controlled drugs.

The ACMD is collecting written evidence from researchers regarding barriers to legitimate research with controlled drugs.

The initial focus of the ACMD’s working group was to specifically consider research involving third-generation synthetic cannabinoids, with advice on this currently being drafted following a successful call for evidence in February.

The call for evidence is welcoming submissions of evidence from ‘as broad a spectrum of research institutions as possible’.