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Volume 667: debated on Tuesday 29 October 2019

6. What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Bedrolite in treating (a) multiple sclerosis and (b) other neurological conditions. (900198)

We have changed the law so that specialist doctors on the GMC’s specialist register can now prescribe cannabis-based products. I have asked the NHS to undertake a rapid review of how this is working, and my Department is now working with delivery partners to implement the report’s recommendations.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his answer, and for his work in this area, but leaving the decision to prescribe cannabis for medical use to individual doctors while NICE is saying that more evidence is needed risks the inertia that has led the MS Society to conclude that not a single person has yet benefited from the legalisation of cannabis for medical use, except those who are able to pay up to £1,000 a month. Will my right hon. Friend meet the MS Society and me to discuss more ways of accelerating the uptake of Bedrolite among patients who have a reasonable expectation of benefiting from it?

I am very happy to meet my hon. Friend and colleagues from the MS Society. She is right to say that we need to ensure we get the evidence that the clinicians understandably want, and in fact we have committed public funds, through the National Institute for Health Research, to establish clinical trials to develop that evidence base.