Medicinal cannabis products can now be prescribed

From today specialist doctors can prescribe the treatments in the UK in certain circumstances where other medicines have not worked.

  The BBC has provided a thorough summary of this news covering who can receive the treatments, which treatments will be prescribed and the previous rules on medicinal cannabis. The rules were relaxed following two boys with severe epilepsy being denied access to cannabis oil - Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell. The change means that treatments can be prescribed for children with rare, severe forms of epilepsy – but GPs will not be able to prescribe the treatments. The change in law followed a review and medicinal cannabis products can be prescribed from 1 November. When the change in law was announced last month Young Epilepsy, Epilepsy Society and Epilepsy Action both commented on this news. Epilepsy Action said: ““We are pleased that the government have recognised the potential of cannabis-based medical products to improve the lives of some children with the most severe and treatment-resistant epilepsies. We also welcome how quickly the government have acted on this important issue.” Young Epilepsy have provided a guide for parents and has outlined the three criteria that must be met for consultants to prescribe cannabis-based medicines as a last resort for a child:
  1. The child has uncontrolled epilepsy despite treatment with licensed anti-epileptic drugs.
  2. The child has not responded to the ketogenic diet (or the diet is not appropriate for them).
  3. The child is not a candidate for epilepsy surgery.
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