Epilepsy: Cannabis

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 4th February 2020.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union, Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his policy is on the availability of medicinal cannabis prescriptions for children with epilepsy; and if he will make a statement.

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

On 1 November 2018, the law was changed to allow clinicians on the General Medical Council’s (GMC) Specialist Register to prescribe cannabis-based products for medicinal use, where clinically appropriate and in the best interests of patients.

On 20 December 2019 a letter was published on the NHS England and NHS Improvement website reminding prescribers of the GMC’s guidance on the prescribing and use of unlicensed medicines – and to clarify the procedure for prescribing and supplying cannabis-based products for medicinal use. Licensed cannabis-based products indicated for epilepsy, such as Epidyolex, may be prescribed in-line with the condition of the marketing authorisation. The letter is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/guidance-prescribing-cannabis-based-products-medicinal-use.pdf

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