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Home > Dail Eireann debates. Written answer 400 - Cannabis for medicinal use [4154/18].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debates. Written answer 400 - Cannabis for medicinal use [4154/18]. (30 Jan 2018)

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400. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if there are means by which a person undergoing chemotherapy can access medicinal cannabis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4154/18]


Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As the Deputy is aware it is the decision of a clinician, in consultation with their patient, to prescribe or not prescribe a particular treatment, including cannabis for medical use, for a patient under their care. As Minister for Health I have no role in this clinical decision-making process.


Under the Misuse of Drugs Act an Irish registered doctor, wishing to prescribe cannabis treatment for an individual patient under their care, may apply for a Ministerial licence to do so. The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the granting of such a licence must be premised on an appropriate application being submitted to the Department of Health, which is endorsed by a consultant who is responsible for the management of the patient and who is prepared to monitor the effects of the treatment over time.  


The main elements of an application submitted under the Misuse of Drugs Act for a licence for THC-based cannabis for medical purposes must include:


An outline of the treatment the patient has received to date and justification from the prescriber as to why it is appropriate in their patient’s specific circumstances to prescribe cannabis products;    Details of the cannabis product which it is proposed to prescribe and administer to the patient;


The source of the cannabis product; and


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


If the patient’s consultant requires further information or clarification in relation to the licence application process, he or she should contact the Department of Health directly.

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