Medical cannabis products now available on prescription
Medicinal cannabis products can now be legally prescribed to some patients across the UK for the first time.
The treatments can be prescribed only by specialist doctors in a limited number of circumstances where other medicines have failed.
The decision to relax the rules on the treatments followed an outcry over two boys with severe epilepsy being denied access to cannabis oil.
But one charity fears access to it will be “much more limited” than expected.
Among those who stand to benefit will be children with rare, severe forms of epilepsy.
As of Thursday cannabis-based products can be prescribed, but only by specialist hospital doctors in a small number of cases, and not by GPs.
New NHS guidance for doctors in England says it should be prescribed only when there is clear published evidence of its benefit and other treatment options have been exhausted.
Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell, the boys whose cases prompted an outcry over the UK’s rules on medicinal cannabis, will be able to access their treatments, without the need for a special Home Office licence, under the change to the law.