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Home > 179. Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Health and Children if consideration has been given to licensing sativex for sufferers of multiple sclerosis. [27707/10]

[Oireachtas] 179. Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Health and Children if consideration has been given to licensing sativex for sufferers of multiple sclerosis. [27707/10]. (29 Jun 2010)

External website: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2010/06/29/00126...


Medicinal products

179. Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Health and Children if consideration has been given to licensing sativex for sufferers of multiple sclerosis; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
 
Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney): The current legal position in Ireland in relation to cannabis and cannabis based medicinal products such as Sativex is that they are Schedule 1 controlled substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977. All Schedule 1 substances are substances which are considered as having no medicinal use and the manufacture, production, preparation, sale, supply, distribution and possession of cannabis and cannabis derivatives is unlawful except for the purposes of research.
 
My Department is aware that claims have been made in respect of Sativex and its possible benefits for patients suffering from certain conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis and cancer. As the law currently stands it would not be possible for Sativex to be licensed here for medicinal use or for a General Practitioner to prescribe it. As cannabis is the drug which is most abused in Ireland, I am reluctant to loosen the controls on its use. However, I am seeking expert clinical advice in this matter and I am open to making a change to the Misuse of Drugs legislation to allow for the use of medicinal cannabis based drugs such as Sativex, if the expert advice indicates that a change is warranted.
 
Vol. 713 No. 4
Written Answers - Medicinal Products
29 June 2010

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