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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 101 - Medicinal products availability [Cannabis] [27734/17].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 101 - Medicinal products availability [Cannabis] [27734/17]. (21 Jun 2017)

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101. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health if he will consider the motion recently adopted by an organisation (details supplied) calling for the prescription of cannabis for medicinal use not to be restricted to consultants only but to allow general practitioners to do so also; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27734/17]

 

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As you know, I published the Health Products Regulatory Authority’s report ‘Cannabis for Medical Use – A Scientific Review’ in February and announced my intention to establish a Cannabis Access Programme for cannabis-based treatments to be provided for qualifying patients. The HPRA report recommended that patients accessing cannabis through the programme should be under the care of a medical consultant.

 

The Chief Medical Officer’s advice reiterates that it is crucial that the granting of a cannabis licence takes due care and consideration of the potential unintended consequences associated with the prescription of cannabis, a schedule 1 controlled drug, for medical purposes, and that its use is endorsed by a consultant who is familiar with and responsible for the care of the individual for whom the licence application is being made.

 

It has been reported that there is a legal barrier preventing consultants from prescribing cannabis-based treatments. In fact, there is no such legal barrier. It remains open to me, as Minister for Health, to consider granting a licence under the Misuse of Drugs Acts, where the proposed course of treatment has been endorsed by a consultant.

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