Epilepsy kids hit by cannabis red tape as Scots MP calls for quicker action



Article By: Mark McGivern - READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Epilepsy

Epilepsy kids hit by cannabis red tape as Scots MP calls for quicker action

Greenock MP Ronnie Cowan believes the moral case for drugs like Bedrocan being made available in the UK on prescription has been accepted in principle by ministers.



A Scots MP has urged swift action to approve medical cannabis on prescription after forcing the UK ­Government to ramp up production efforts of vital epilepsy drugs in the UK.

Greenock MP Ronnie Cowan believes the moral case for drugs like Bedrocan being made available in the UK on prescription has been accepted in principle by ministers.

But red tape means sufferers like Scot Murray Gray, eight, are left to find private supplies costing up to £1300 a month.

Murray, from Edinburgh, gets three treatments a day of the cannabis oil, which fends off hundreds of seizures that would threaten his life.

His parents have blasted the slow pace of action. In answer to a question in the Commons from Cowan, health minister Jo Churchill confirmed she had met with specialist clinicians to discuss evidence supporting prescribing on the NHS.

Churchill said: “Establishing of clinical trials is vital with the support of the National Institute for Health Research to make sure we are making the right decisions on routine funding.

“From April 1, we’ve introduced the National Patient Registry to record data and monitor patient outcomes in England with a view to it being rolled out across Scotland and other devolved administrations later this year, covering licensed and unlicensed cannabis-based medicines on the NHS, with a view to include the private patients in due course.

“As he knows, I am focused on making sure we get the right solutions for families. But at the heart of this matter always has to lie the safety of what we prescribe.”

Churchill said further meetings will be arranged to look at the supply of Bedrocan in the UK.

Cowan said: “I understand the development of medicines is a complicated and time-consuming endeavour and that best practice must be followed at all times but Matt Hancock promised a solution within months back in 2019.

“We developed a Covid vaccine, fully tested, manufactured and provided free on the NHS in under a year.

“The development and research into medical cannabis should be given the same priority.”



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