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Medicinal Cannabis Products

Volume 657: debated on Tuesday 26 March 2019

4. What estimate he has made of the number of prescriptions for medicinal cannabis products that have been issued since November 2018. (910025)

The data that my right hon. Friend asks for is not available, but it is important that we take action to make sure the right drugs are available for the right people.

Was it intended to make them as rare as hens’ teeth? What measures is the Secretary of State taking to support clinicians in actually prescribing?

I met the parents of some of the children whose needs are best met through the use of medicinal cannabis. My heart goes out to those who are fighting for this cause. We changed the law in the autumn to try to make it easier, and I am looking very closely at what we can do to make sure that the intention of that decision is met.

The Health Committee heard last week that patients are dying unnecessarily and up to a million families are being driven to criminality by getting medical cannabis illegally, and the situation has got worse since the Government changed the law in November. When are these families going to get access to medical cannabis for their children and other sufferers that they would have access to if they lived in Germany, the Netherlands, Canada or the United States?

As the right hon. Gentleman knows, I supported and indeed participated in the decision to ensure that access was made legal in the autumn, and I am working right now on trying to make sure that some of the challenges in the system are unblocked. Ultimately, these things have to be clinician led, but my sympathy is with those who are campaigning, whom I have met, because I know of the anguish that this problem is causing.