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Epilepsy: Cannabis

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 7th May 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Walmsley Baroness Walmsley Co-Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Peers

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to fund private prescriptions for whole plant cannabis pharmaceutical medicines for children with severe drug resistant epilepsy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Lord Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The costs of medicines associated with treatment sought privately remain the responsibility of patients. No additional public funding is being provided beyond the financial package to provide additional support for public services, individuals and businesses experiencing financial difficulties during COVID-19.

The latest National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines demonstrate a clear need for more evidence to support routine prescribing and funding decisions for unlicensed cannabis-based medicines on the National Health Service, and we are working hard with the health system, industry and researchers to improve the knowledge base.

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