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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 452 & 461 – Controlled drug sales [14115/13 & 14149/13].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 452 & 461 – Controlled drug sales [14115/13 & 14149/13]. (20 Mar 2013)


452. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health his plans to make cannabis liquid available by prescription for pain control similar to the UK where it is currently available on prescription [14115/13] 

461. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Health if cannabinoid medicines such as Sativex for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and other ailments will be available here in June of this year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14149/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): I propose to take Questions Nos. 452 and 461 together.

My Department has been informed by the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) that it is in receipt of a market authorisation request from a manufacturer under the EU Mutual Recognition Procedure for a medicinal product containing Cannabis extract. This product is indicated for the relief of symptoms of spasticity for people with multiple sclerosis.
Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977, the manufacture, production, preparation, sale, supply, distribution and possession of cannabis or cannabis-based medicinal products are unlawful except for the purposes of research.
My Department is currently examining how authorised cannabis-based medicinal products for patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis may be legally prescribed by medical practitioners and used by patients for the treatment of MS in Ireland. In that respect, Department officials have been engaging with experts to identify how best to legally describe authorised cannabis-based medicinal products while maintaining existing controls on cannabis and cannabis substances. While the legislative amendments required can be made by means of statutory instrument, the legal issues are complex. The matter is being progressed as quickly as possible in my Department and it is hoped to bring forward legislative proposals in mid-2013. 

Dail Eireann Debate
Wednesday, 20 March 2013

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