Words: Dylan Murphy
Minister For Health, Stephen Donnelly revealed news of the forthcoming programme which is set to begin later this year.
Funding has been made available to deliver a programme of cannabis-based medical products in Ireland. The news was revealed by Minister For Health Stephen Donnelly and would see patients have access to cannabis-based products once suppliers have their products approved.
The new access programme will permit medical consultants to prescribe cannabis-based products for medical conditions where the patient has not responded positively to conventional treatments. The Journal notes that the medical conditions included in the plans are: Spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, Intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and Severe, refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy.
The programme is set to begin later this year and currently, four products have been approved with more currently being assessed.
Speaking on the announcement, Minister Donnelly said, “The purpose of this Programme is to facilitate compassionate access to cannabis for medical reasons, where conventional treatment has failed.”
“It follows the clear pathway laid out by the Health Products Regulatory Authority in their expert report ‘Cannabis for Medical Use – A Scientific Review’,” he continued.
“Ultimately it will be the decision of the medical consultant, in consultation with their patient, to prescribe a particular treatment, including a cannabis-based treatment, for a patient under their care.”
Donnelly did, however, reassert the government’s position on legalising cannabis for recreational use. “It is important to state that there are no plans to legalise cannabis in this country”.