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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 455- Medicinal products licensing [2818/17] [Cannabis].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 455- Medicinal products licensing [2818/17] [Cannabis]. (24 Jan 2017)

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455. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if, in view of the publicity in recent days surrounding the possible exemption on the usage of cannabis-based medicines, he will provide clarification on this and the way in which a person would proceed with an application for an exemption; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2818/17]


Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris):  Cannabis is strictly controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Acts, 1977 to 2016 and the Regulations made thereunder.


You will already be aware; it is open for an Irish registered doctor to apply for a licence for a cannabis-based product for an individual named patient, under their care. The appropriateness of any particular treatment is a matter between the patient and their doctor; I have no role in this process.


This information has been provided to individuals who contacted my Department for information and has been stated publicly by myself on a number of occasions. However, to date, just one application has been received from a doctor and following review, a licence has been granted to that doctor.


An application for a controlled drug licence for a Schedule 1 drug such as cannabis, is a very serious matter and can only be made for a named patient by a doctor registered with the Medical Council. I would expect that an application would be from a doctor actively involved in the treatment of their patient.


The main elements of an application will include:


 An outline of the treatment the patient has received to date and justification from the doctor as to why it is appropriate in their patient’s specific circumstances to prescribe a Schedule 1 drug.


If the patient’s consultant is not the applicant, the views, if any, of the consultant in relation to the application.


Details of the cannabis-based product which it is proposed to prescribe and administer to the patient.


The source of the cannabis-based product.


The arrangements for the ongoing monitoring and care of the patient once the cannabis-based treatment has commenced.


No other exemption exists in Irish legislation for the usage of cannabis for medicinal purposes.


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