CHICAGO — Aclara Research, a leader in the development of patient and consumer insights within the medical cannabis industry, today released the results of The Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient Experience Study – the first of Illinois patients since the inception of the pilot program in 2012. The study is the largest and most comprehensive look at the impact of the statewide program, examining nearly 300 of the 18,000 Illinois residents registered.
The Aclara Research study found that 86 percent of survey respondents are managing leading symptoms of chronic pain. While chronic pain is not one of the 41 qualifying conditions in Illinois, cannabis shows strong potential in treating autoimmune diseases in which chronic inflammation plays a central role.
Key findings from the study include: Key gender gaps within the health care system as well as medical cannabis use:
- Key gender gaps within the health care system as well as medical cannabis use: Across Illinois patients, women are up to 50 percent more likely to suffer with leading symptoms of chronic pain including trouble sleeping, back and joint pain, body ache and anxiety.
- Eighty six percent of patients reported suffering with symptoms of chronic pain. While not a qualifying condition for program participation in Illinois, patients are treating the leading symptoms of chronic pain which impacts more than 130 million Americans.
- Thirty three percent of study respondents stopped using all prescription drugs after using medical cannabis and 92 percent decreased the number of prescription drugs taken. Applying these results to a recent study on the impact of medical cannabis on Medicaid costs, there is potential for $180 million in savings to the Illinois Medicaid program.*
- Twenty two percent of patients had no previous experience with cannabis prior to entering the Illinois medical cannabis program. This is in stark contrast to other medical marijuana programs across the country, and is driven by women. Twenty six percent of women in Illinois reported being new to using cannabis.
- Forty seven percent of patients are using Cannabidiol (CBD) daily. Women lead this consumption trend, over 75 percent consume CBD daily.
- Forty nine percent of patients earn less than $40,000 annually AND spend more than $3,000 on cannabis products each year. Medical cannabis patients make a significant investment in their health, spending more than $3,000 each year on cannabis products -which are not covered under their health insurance.
While industry experts have labeled the Illinois program as one of the most restrictive in the country based on condition list and application requirements, the Aclara Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient Experience Study showcases the positive benefits the pilot program has had on the lives of those suffering from the qualifying debilitating conditions as well as the potential benefits to health care costs.
This is the first study conducted in Illinois by Aclara Research, however the company has been a leader in the cannabis industry since 2016, already conducting comprehensive studies across multiple states including Michigan, Oregon and Colorado. A second study in Illinois is slated to be released in the fall.
“We are excited to be the first to conduct the largest study of Illinois patients since the inception of the pilot program,” said Carmen Brace, Founder of Aclara Research. “We will continue to build strong partnerships within the state and other markets to provide our clients with insights that lead to consumer centric product innovation and business strategies across medical use markets.”
For more information or to learn more about the Illinois study, please visit www.aclararesearch.com.
About Aclara Research
Aclara Research is a leader in the development of patient and consumer insights within the medical cannabis industry. Their team of consulting professionals help link cannabis patient and consumer insights with healthcare research to solve commercial challenges. Join the conversation and connect with Aclara Research, @aclararesearch, on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Mass Roots or visit www.aclararesearch.com.
*Illinois Medicaid savings based on US rate of chronic pain incidence applied to Illinois adult participants with annual prescription drug spend of $934. Source: The Henry Kaiser Family Foundation, F2015 Total Medicaid Spending