Science advisory committee on health products containing cannabis: Summary of affiliations and interests

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The following summarizes details regarding the affiliations and interests relevant to the Scientific Advisory Committee on Health Products containing Cannabis (SAC-HPCC) mandate declared by committee members. Health Canada considered these declarations as part of the selection process and has made this summary available as part of its commitment to be transparent about the membership of its advisory bodies.

In accordance with Health Canada's Policy on External Advisory Bodies, a person with affiliations and interests related to the mandate of an advisory body may still be appointed as a member of the advisory body. However, prior to each committee meeting, members are asked to provide updated declarations of affiliations and interests. Health Canada, in consultation with an external conflict of interest advisor, will assess members' affiliations and interests, as they may apply to agenda items for discussion.

The process used to select the external conflict of interest advisor for the Committee, Dr. Lisa Bero, as well as their duties, are similar to those outlined for Health Canada's Nutrition Science Advisory Committee.

Depending on the nature of the member's affiliations or interests, their participation in the Committee's activities may be restricted. Potential actions may include recusals from certain discussions where there is conflict, or the inability to formulate recommendations or contribute to written advice. In some cases, conflict of interest may result in the termination of the individual's membership on the Committee. Summaries of members' affiliations and interests are reviewed on an ongoing basis and updated as required.

Members are asked on an ongoing basis to declare the following affiliations and interests:

  1. Direct financial interests
    1. Current employment, investments in companies, partnerships, equity, royalties, joint ventures, trusts, real property, stocks, shares or bonds, with the regulated industry
  2. Indirect financial interests
    1. Within the past five years, payment from regulated industry for work done or being done, including past employment, contracts or consulting; or financial support including research support, personal education grants, contributions, fellowships, sponsorships, and honoraria.
    2. Within the past five years, materials, discounted products, gifts, or other benefits, or attendance at meetings where all or part of the travel and accommodation costs were provided by the regulated industry.
    3. Within the last three years, grants or other funding from the regulated industry to any of the organizations where you are currently employed or participate in internal decision-making.
  3. Intellectual interests
    1. Within the last five years, any formal advice or opinion to industry, a government organization or a non-government organization on a matter of relevance to the SAC-HPCC
    2. Within the last five years, any published or publicly stated point of view on issues of relevance to the SAC-HPCC mandate
    3. Current professional or volunteer affiliations such as membership of professional societies, lobbying, public interest or advocacy groups, of relevance to the SAC-HPCC
  4. Other
    1. Any other affiliations and interests or potential circumstances that might give a well-informed member of the public reasonable grounds for concern regarding the integrity and objectivity of your participation

Summary of affiliations and interests

The table below provides a summary of the responses to each corresponding question from committee members as of September 23, 2020.

Name Summary of responses
Brown, Paula PhD 1 No 2 (a) No 2 (b) No 2 (c) Yes 3 (a) Yes 3 (b) Yes 3 (c) Yes 4 No
Comments: Member provides scientific guidance on natural health product manufacture and regulatory compliance to companies, associations and government and as part of her role as a Canada Research Chair (CRC) and Director of Applied Research with British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), member engages in contract research and grant funded research projects on medicinal plants including cannabis. As a CRC and scholar member volunteers on many committees including those related to cannabis and is a founding member and current President of the Natural Health Product Research Society of Canada.
Fitzcharles, Mary-Ann MB ChB FRCP 1 No 2 (a) No 2 (b) No 2 (c) No 3 (a) No 3 (b) Yes 3 (c) Yes 4 No
Comments: Member has published many journal articles relevant to the mandate of the Committee. Member is immediate past-chair of the Canadian Rheumatology Association Therapeutics committee and international member of the Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence (ACRE).
Huntsman, Richard M.D. FRCP 1 No 2 (a) No 2 (b) Yes 2 (c) No 3 (a) No 3 (b) Yes 3 (c) Yes 4 No
Comments: Member is the Principal investigator of the Cannabidiol in Children with Refractory Epileptic Encephalopathy (CARE-E) study. The CARE-E Study is externally funded through grants from the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation and the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital Foundation and has received cannabis products purchased at cost for the purpose of the study from a licensed cannabis company. Member has applied for another research grant for a study on cannabis and drug resistant epilepsy and will be seeking cannabis products from a licensed cannabis company. Member sits on the executive of the Cannabinoid Research Initiative of Saskatchewan (CRIS) and the Canadian Childhood Cannabinoid Clinical Trial (C4T) network. CRIS has received funding from Licensed Cannabis Producers to host their annual CRIS Summer Symposium in the past two years. Member is the author of multiple publications on the use of cannabis in the treatment of epilepsy.
Kelly, Lauren E PhD, MSc, CCRP 1 No 2 (a) Yes 2 (b) No 2 (c) No 3 (a) No 3 (b) Yes 3 (c) Yes 4 No

Comments: Member holds a MITACS Accelerate grant to work on a systematic review on cannabinoids used in children which was sponsored by Spectrum Therapeutics. Member has spoken about the need for clinical trials and an evidence base to support the dosing and safety of cannabis products in children and is an author on an upcoming commentary in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on how the government can better support families, youth and pediatricians in making evidence-informed decisions about cannabis-based medicines. Member is the Scientific Director of the Canadian Childhood Cannabinoid Clinical Trials (C4T) consortium, and a panel expert with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba in their Medical Cannabis Standards of Practice Working Group.

The member also holds a volunteer position on the Board of Directors with the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids (CCIC). The member has also received in-kind cannabis product from a licensed cannabis company to support a tolerability study of which she is the principal investigator. This trial is externally funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the SickKids Foundation. The cannabis company will not play a role in the design, conduct or reporting of the trial. A confirmatory letter from the company has been provided to the Committee Secretariat.

Le Foll, Bernard PhD, MD 1 No 2 (a) Yes 2 (b) Yes 2 (c) Yes 3 (a) Yes 3 (b) Yes 3 (c) Yes 4 No
Comments: Member conducts research, through research grants handled by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), with industry funding obtained from a licensed cannabis producer. Research grants also include a MITACS grant obtained through the University of Toronto with a licensed cannabis producer as a partner. Member has received in-kind donations of research products from a pharmaceutical company for studies funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the National Institutes of Health, and received in-kind donations of cannabis products from a licensed cannabis producer for projects funded by public sources. Member has contributed to policy statement around cannabis developed by CAMH and has done media interviews pertaining to cannabis related issues. Individual is a member of various scientific organizations and a member of the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids.
Bryant, Patti 1 No 2 (a) No 2 (b) Yes 2 (c) Yes 3 (a) No 3 (b) Yes 3 (c) Yes 4 No
Comments: As chair of Dravet Canada, member has helped develop their medical marijuana statement. No personal financial gain other than travel subsidy. Member has made public statements pertaining to medical cannabis as part of role with Dravet Canada.
Caulkett, Nigel DVM, MVetSc, Diplomate ACVA 1 No 2 (a) No 2 (b) No 2 (c) No 3 (a) No 3 (b) No 3 (c) No 4 No
Comments: None to declare.
Hurnik, Daniel DVM, MSc 1 No 2 (a) No 2 (b) No 2 (c) Yes 3 (a) No 3 (b) No 3 (c) No 4 Yes
Comments: None to declare.
Mathews, Karol Ann DVM, DVSc, Diplomate ACVECC 1 No 2 (a) Yes 2 (b) No 2 (c) No 3 (a) Yes 3 (b) No 3 (c) Yes 4 No
Comments: Member of the board of directors of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine and has received compensation for a lecture at a Symposium on Intoxication of Cannabinoid Products.

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