The Use of Medical Cannabis to Help Children with Epilepsy – 8 April 2021

For some time now I have spoken out in support of the use of medical cannabis in order that it be decriminalised and made readily available via the NHS. Given that there is an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) devoted entirely to this cause I’d have expected significant and steady progress to be unfolding here.

Though the Government did accept in 2018 that the therapeutic use of unlicensed cannabis would be permitted, its availability via the NHS has been restricted to two cannabis-derived drugs, Epidyolex for seizures and Savitex for multiple sclerosis.

Although nineteen unlicensed cannabis-based medicines are known to have been prescribed on the NHS so far, these are mostly exceptions. The NHS is faced with significant costs to be able to routinely prescribe medical cannabis which means that the Government must step in to ensure it gets the funding it needs.

It is outrageous that those in need must continue to resort to private means to obtain these medicines for their children.

I will continue to press the Government in and out of Parliament to provide funding that would enable the NHS to routinely prescribe medical cannabis whenever it is needed.