Austin Smith
Posted by Austin Smith on Sep 1, 2019 3:55:17 PM

Pressure Continues on British Government to Adjust Medical Cannabis Laws


kimzy-nanney-b2haCjfk_cM-unsplashA string of cases with children whose parents had to pay an exorbitant amount for a prescribed cannabidiol (CBD) oil recently increased turned the heat up on British government entities. Public opinion on the government’s medical cannabis laws shifted dramatically last year due to similar circumstances in the press where parents needed access to CBD medications. Even though The Home Office legalized medical cannabis in October of 2018, it hasn’t gotten easier for parents. The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and The British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA) have restricted access to only a couple of patients. Guidelines that restricted access to medical CBD oil was put into the National Health Service (NHS) by the RCP and the BPNA. Parents of children with a seizure syndrome, such as Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, find that they don’t have prescription coverage for medicinal CBD oil and have to pay prices as high as $4,860 per month.

Craig Williams, the father of a child with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, stated: “Because the UK have got to import it, you’ve got your importation fees, you’ve then got your pharmacy costs on top, so that same £150 bottle becomes £500, which Bailey needs every two-and-a-half to three days.”

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Another example of recent public attention to the high cost associated with an uncovered NHS prescription CBD oil featured a family that remortgaged their home in order to afford it. The family spends nearly $3,037 a month for their daughter’s CBD oil medication. "Successful" is exactly the word that can be used to describe the results from the treatment regiment.

Elaine Levy, the mother of a child with severe epilepsy, stated: "She can walk, she can talk, her intelligence has gone up hugely, she has proper conversations.”

The recent cases with parents and prescription costs without coverage by the NHS aren’t the only situations that created reform pressure for the British government. The National Institute for Care and Excellence (NICE) ruled that medical cannabis cannot be used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and chronic pain. It’s very possible that the similar circumstances, although different when compared to the inaccessibility parents first faced before October 2018, could pressure the proper government agencies to reform laws, provide better coverage and reduce prescription CBD oil costs.

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