Drugs council recommends rule changes for medicinal cannabis prescription

July 24th, 2018
Drugs council recommends rule changes for medicinal cannabis prescription

A panel of drugs experts has recommended changes, which would enable doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis for patients with certain conditions.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has backed changes, which would give doctors the option to prescribe medicinal products that contain cannabis derivatives when safe to do so.

The matter was put up for discussion after a number of high-profile cases, which involved young boys suffering from severe epilepsy who have been denied access to use cannabis oil, attracted media attention. The council suggests that the government introduce new guidelines, which would enable doctors to prescribe medicinal products where there is clear benefit to the individual patient.

The Home Office recently granted legal access to cannabis oil to two young boys who have rare forms of epilepsy, which cause them to suffer from extreme seizures. Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell now have a short-term license, which enables them to receive the treatment legally. The council has stressed that changes in guidelines relate to the medicinal use of cannabis only. Recreational use will remain illegal.

Prof Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, said that studies provide conclusive evidence that there are therapeutic benefits to prescribing cannabis-based products to help certain medical conditions.

The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has confirmed that the issue will be “carefully considered” and an announcement about proposed changes in guidelines will be made in due course.

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