Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine has today called for an urgent debate to be held in the House of Commons over the rigid guidelines governing the prescription of medical cannabis.
After pressure from campaigners and MPs including Ms Jardine, the Home Secretary agreed to allow specialist doctors to legally prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products earlier this year. However, recently published guidelines by the NHS and a number of medical professional bodies are so tight that very few patients will be eligible for a prescription at all.
Ms Jardine commented:
“When minsters agreed to legalise medicinal cannabis, thousands of patients suffering from extreme pain were offered a glimmer of hope that they would finally be able to access this life changing treatment but these overly rigid guidelines are causing immense disappointment and heartache.
“Even children at the heart of high-profile cases that played such a key role in changing the law would struggle to get a prescription. Some families are now in the outrageously unfair position of having to consider fundraising to go abroad to access the medical cannabis that’s just been made legal here!
“I’m urging the Health Secretary to use every available means to work with the NHS, the General Medical Council and the relevant professional bodies to see these guidelines reworked so that they more properly reflect the historic law change that was announced in the summer
“The Health Secretary should come to the House of Commons and explain what plans the government has to rectify this situation.”