Following a meeting of the Health Committee today, People Before Profit TD and health spokesperson, Gino Kenny, has said that while the commencement of the medical cannabis access programme in the next two weeks, where people who qualify will be able to access the drug via prescription is a positive step, the scheme must be broadened out to include a wider cohort of people.
The TD for Dublin Mid-West pointed out that many people who could benefit from this treatment, especially chronic pain sufferers, need to be brought into the scheme so they can access medical cannabis with a prescription.
The TD pointed out that the scheme was positive but limited. There is only one product available for people- CannEpil. The number of conditions which can apply for the programme are too limited. Currently, refractory epilepsy, spasticity associated with MS and sickness associated with chemotherapy are stipulated under the programme. They need to expand the scope so we can get wider access for additional conditions for which this treatment could greatly benefit, particularly around chronic pain.
He said: “Today is a positive day for the campaign for access to medical cannabis. However, whilst the announcement that in two weeks people with certain conditions will be able to access the treatment via prescription is good, it is too limited and excludes many people who could seriously benefit from this treatment- such as people suffering with chronic pain.
“What I would like to see if for the scope of the scheme to broadened out so that it takes into account those cohorts of people currently excluded from the programme.”