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Medical Cannabis Under Prescription

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:04 pm on 20th May 2019.

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Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge Conservative, South Suffolk 7:04 pm, 20th May 2019

I am sure my right hon. Friend’s constituent is very pleased by that intervention. He underlines the key challenge, which is that these medicines are what is known as “artisanal”. They are unlicensed, and they are not standardised pharmaceutical medicines, which can be a problem for doctors who want to know their standard chemical make-up. Doctors feel they cannot entirely rely on these medicines. The nub of it is to what extent we in this place should be pressing those who have to make clinical decisions.

My hon. Friend John Howell said that this has to be a clinical decision, and my hon. Friend Crispin Blunt made the brilliant point that, if not for us, we would not be in this position and what has been prescribed so far would not have been prescribed. Let us be honest about it: this has been the result of campaigning, which is why I congratulate all those who have campaigned.

Nevertheless, this ultimately has to be clinically based. We cannot have political prescribing. It may be that applying maximum pressure has resulted in some prescription decisions. I hope that is not the case but, in reality, it may have been. We must have a consistent, transparent system that we have faith in and that leads to clinical decisions delivering the best outcomes for our constituents.