MEDICINAL CANNABIS UNDER NHS PRESCRIPTION
A mother has said there seems to be “no end to the stress and trauma” of trying to get medical cannabis for her severely epileptic child after a second batch was seized.
Emma Appleby flew back to Britain from the Netherlands on Thursday carrying a month’s supply of medical cannabis oil worth about £2,500 for her nine-year-old daughter Teagan.
She should be able to get it on the NHS.
But she said Border Force officials confiscated the medication from her when she arrived back at Gatwick Airport at about 3.45pm.
Her daughter Teagan suffers from a rare chromosomal disorder called Isodicentric 15 as well as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which causes up to 300 seizures a day.
This is the second time she has had medical cannabis oil seized after Border Force officials confiscated a three-month supply of the medication, which cost £4,600, from her at Southend Airport in Essex in April.
Ms Appleby, from Aylesham near Dover, said: “There seems no end to the stress and trauma of trying to access the medical cannabis that I have proved beyond doubt transforms the life of my daughter Teagan.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP @ToniaAntoniazzi
So to see the sheer cruelty of the
@ukhomeoffice to not allow Emma to take a months prescription of #medicalcannabis home for her daughter Teagan @ForTeagan @End_Our_Pain – putting hurdles in the way at every opportunity
I am exhausted and shattered but I’ve seen how this medicine transforms my daughter’s life.
“I have to find a way forward. The NHS just won’t prescribe. This is unforgivably cruel and unfair.”
After the first batch was seized, Ms Appleby and her partner Lee had to obtain a prescription from a specialist UK consultant to get it back.
It’s unforgivable that parents like Emma are being passed from pillar to post like this
Tonia Antoniazzi MP
But this time, despite having a private prescription with her, she was told she now needs an import licence, Ms Appleby said.
She added: “I believe that such a licence costs a lot of money. I am just a mum wanting to do the best for my child, not a company importing on a commercial basis.”
The law in the UK was changed last November to make access to medical cannabis legal but parents have been struggling to secure prescriptions, in part due to reluctance within the medical community.
NHS England guidance says it expects that cannabis-based products for medicinal use should “only be prescribed for indications where there is clear published evidence of benefit” and in “patients where there is a clinical need which cannot be met by a licensed medicine and where established treatment options have been exhausted”.
Ms Appleby was accompanied on her trip by MP Tonia Antoniazzi, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Cannabis under Prescription.
The Labour MP for Gower called on Health Secretary Matt Hancock to “get a grip of this and sort it out”.
What has upset me the most is that the UK Border Force don’t seem to understand what the problem is either! We’ve been here before and they’ve still not sorted it!
She added: “The implementation of this new policy is a shambles.
“Emma should not have to get a private prescription and have to cope with going abroad to get the medicine with all the bureaucracy this entails.
“Emma has enough to do caring for her very sick daughter.
“It’s unforgivable that parents like Emma are being passed from pillar to post like this.”
The Home Office has been contacted for comment.
Emma Appleby flies to Holland for cannabis oil for epileptic Teagan, 9, of Aylesham
Off to Holland to collect more
#MedicalCannabis for Teagan as we, like other families, continue to be denied prescriptions via the NHS & are forced to self-fund at a cost of thousands ££ per month. Thank you @ToniaAntoniazzi for your support today. #helpforteagan #endourpain
A mother has flown to Holland to get more cannabis oil for her severely epileptic daughter.
Emma Appleby went on a similar trip in April but the medicinal drugs were seized from her at the airport and only returned later.
Ms Appleby told the Mercury: “We are returning later today and we are keeping our fingers crossed that it doesn’t happen again.”
Following NHS trials showing cannabis oil reduces seisure, it can now be legally prescribed by specialist doctors.
But there have been delays due to restrictive guidelines and supply problems.
Getting them imported by private prescription costs £6,000 but going abroad for them costs just £2,500.
Ms Appeby is raising money through a crowdfunding page, which reaped £10,000 for the previous trip and to pay for the cannabis oil this time.
Ms Appleby is awaiting a panel hearing o find out whether NHS funding is available, which would reduce costs.
Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke has backed Ms Appleby’s campaign for an NHS prescription. He has raised the matter with the Home Office and Department of health.
The head of NHS England has warned that medical cannabis risks “normalising drug use” in the UK.
Simon Stevens argues that medical cannabis could pave the way for the drug to be legalised for recreational use
NHS has confirmed that JUST three prescriptions for MEDICAL CANNABIS were dispensed … cannabis-based products for medicinal use in primary care in England …
Medicinal Cannabis under Prescription
Although the law was changed in 2018 to permit the prescription of cannabis, a shortage of specialist clinicians has meant that just three patients have had legal access to medicinal cannabis in the UK.
When the home secretary, Sajid Javid, announced that medical cannabis would soon be available on prescription, thousands of patients who rely on illegal supplies to relieve the symptoms of MS, epilepsy and other conditions were delighted.
Mike Penning highlighted in parliament, patients in need of cannabis have found gaining access to it extremely difficult.
Medical cannabis: Breaking the law to help our child
The parents of a child with epilepsy say they are breaking the law because they can’t get cannabis oil to treat her condition in the UK.
Anthony and Tannine may no longer be able to make the journey to the Netherlands for the private prescription, and they fear for the future.
The mother of a 13-year-old severely epileptic boy who says medical cannabis has transformed his life has revealed her fresh torment after his latest prescription was denied.
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