Epilepsy: Cannabis

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 4th April 2019.

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Photo of Alberto Costa Alberto Costa Conservative, South Leicestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of effectiveness of medical cannabis in the treatment of epilepsy.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The evidence base for cannabis-based products for medicinal use is still developing. However, the changes to the law are designed to encourage further research and the National Institute for Health Research has issued a call for research proposals to rapidly advance knowledge in this area.

Interim clinical guidance, commissioned by NHS England and issued by the Royal College of Physicians, British Paediatric Neurology Association and Association of British Neurologists on certain severe epilepsies in children and adults, is based on the best available international clinical evidence and reflects clinical guidance that has been published in other jurisdictions.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has been commissioned to develop guidelines on the prescribing of cannabis-based medicinal products by October 2019. This guidance will cover severe treatment-resistant epilepsy, and will update and replace the interim guidance.

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