Cannabis on NHS from next month

Warwickshire Telegraph - - NEWS -

DOC­TORS will be able to pre­scribe cannabis prod­ucts to pa­tients from Novem­ber 1, Home Sec­re­tary Sa­jid Javid has an­nounced.

Mr Javid had de­cided to resched­ule the prod­ucts, re­lax­ing the rules about the cir­cum­stances in which they can be given to pa­tients, af­ter con­sid­er­ing ex­pert ad­vice from a spe­cially com­mis­sioned re­view.

The new reg­u­la­tions ap­ply to Eng­land, Wales and Scot­land, and fol­low sev­eral high-pro­file cases, in­clud­ing that of young epilepsy suf­fer­ers Al­fie Din­g­ley and Billy Cald­well, whose con­di­tions ap­peared to be helped by cannabis oil.

Al­fie’s mother, Han­nah Dea­con, wel­comed the move.

She said: “To­day is a mo­men­tous day for ev­ery pa­tient and fam­ily with a suf­fer­ing child who wish to ac­cess medic­i­nal cannabis. We urge the med­i­cal world to get be­hind these re­forms so they can help the tens of thou­sands of peo­ple who are in ur­gent need of help.

“I have per­son­ally seen how my son’s life has changed due to the med­i­cal cannabis he is now pre­scribed.

“As a fam­ily we were fac­ing his death. Now we are fac­ing his life, full of joy and hope which is some­thing I wish for each and ev­ery per­son in this coun­try who could ben­e­fit from this medicine.”

Pro­fes­sor Mike Barnes, the med­i­cal cannabis ex­pert who se­cured the first longterm li­cence for its use for Al­fie, said: “This an­nounce­ment has trans­formed the po­si­tion of the UK in this ex­cit­ing and de­vel­op­ing field.

“Many of my med­i­cal col­leagues are un­der­stand­ably un­sure about the ben­e­fits.

“Af­ter all, med­i­cal cannabis has been il­le­gal in the UK for gen­er­a­tions. But I urge them to em­brace these de­vel­op­ments.”

An ini­tial re­view by chief med­i­cal ad­viser Dame Sally Davies con­cluded that there is ev­i­dence medic­i­nal cannabis has ther­a­peu­tic ben­e­fits.

The Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on the Mis­use of Drugs, which car­ried out the sec­ond part of the re­view, then said doc­tors should be able to pre­scribe medic­i­nal cannabis pro­vided prod­ucts meet safety stan­dards.

It rec­om­mended cannabis-de­rived medic­i­nal prod­ucts should be placed in Sched­ule 2 of the Mis­use of Drugs Reg­u­la­tions 2001. Cannabis has pre­vi­ously been classed as a Sched­ule 1 drug, mean­ing it is thought to have no ther­a­peu­tic value but can be used for the pur­poses of re­search with a Home Of­fice li­cence.

Mr Javid said that to con­sti­tute a cannabis-based prod­uct for medic­i­nal use, three re­quire­ments must be sat­is­fied.

These are that it “needs to be a prepa­ra­tion or prod­uct which con­tains cannabis, cannabis resin, cannabi­nol or a cannabi­nol de­riv­a­tive; it is pro­duced for medic­i­nal use in hu­mans and; is a medic­i­nal prod­uct, or a sub­stance or prepa­ra­tion for use as an in­gre­di­ent of, or in the pro­duc­tion of an in­gre­di­ent of, a medic­i­nal prod­uct”.

Char­lotte Cald­well with son Billy who suf­fers from epilepsy

Princess Eu­ge­nie and Jack Brooks­bank

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