Cannabis: Medical Treatments

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22nd January 2020.

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Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning Conservative, Hemel Hempstead

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS prescriptions for whole-plant-extract prescribed medical cannabis containing cannabidiol and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol have been issued since access to medical cannabis was legalised on 1 November 2018; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

NHS England and NHS Improvement are using existing systems to monitor use of the newly rescheduled unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use in England. In England, these systems monitor the number of items dispensed and associated costs in primary care and the volume of products used and associated cost in secondary care.

The NHS Business Services Authority is only able to provide information on prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines that have been prescribed and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority. It does not hold information on prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines which have been issued but not fulfilled.

Between November 2018 and October 2019, 19 items for unlicensed cannabis-based medicines that were prescribed on a National Health Service prescription, dispensed in the community and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority for reimbursement.

The NHS Business Services Authority does not collect data on whether an unlicensed cannabis-based medicine is a whole-plant extract. The licensed cannabis-based medicines Sativex, Nabilone and Epidyolex are not whole-plant extracts, so no data has been provided on these products.

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