Faster access to cannabis-based medicines

Following some large campaigns about children's health care last year, a good number of residents lobbied me to contact the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to ask for better access to cannabis-based medicines where there is a proven record of these medicines assisting people.

I understand some of them have been fantastic with reducing pain, stopping fits and helping improve muscle movement.  I am pleased to say that the lobbying has worked.  Import restrictions have been changed to help ensure that people with prescriptions for cannabis-based products do not have their treatments delayed or interrupted.

Now licensed wholesalers can import much larger quantities of these medicines and hold supplies - something, previously they could not do, leading to patients struggling to access treatment and a reluctance from doctors to prescribe these kinds of medicines. 

Most of our cannabis based medicines are imported from other countries, so the restrictions on imports were drastically putting delays in place, frustrating when for many patients, it had been a long road to even have the treatment confirmed.

In addition to these changes, added safeguards and support to prevent misuse of drugs are in place.  Prescriptions will be reviewed every 30 days by specialists.  The Government will continue to engage with medical associations and patients to build upon evidence, using trials and this may, if the evidence supports it, lead to wider prescribing for other illnesses in the future.