For almost 3-years, children suffering with severe epilepsy and other medical conditions have benefited from medical cannabis. The prescriptions have enabled children and their families to have as normal a life as can be.
However, as the UK leaves the European Union this month, UK children will no longer receive their prescriptions.
Medical cannabis prescriptions have been fulfilled by EU countries for almost 3-years and as of this week, they are no longer recognised.
Almost 2-weeks before Christmas, the Department of Health and Social Care dismissed the concerns from families of children who access the life-changing treatment, after receiving a letter stating ‘families should find alternative medicines’. Although this may seem like a simple task; it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Bedrolite is used by children living with severe medical conditions and is the only medicine which halts their life-threatening seizures. Cannabinoids and terpenes found in the cannabis plant create very specific medical properties. This is what makes the prescription so powerful. Switching children to a new medicine could have catastrophic results.
Severe epilepsy is caused by a number of conditions. The young daughter of Sweet Pink CBD’s founder, Indie-Rose, lives with Dravet Syndrome. This condition causes Indie to suffer from hundreds of seizures a day, along with more severe neurological symptoms.
Hannah Deacon, friend of Sweet Pink CBD and a campaigner at the forefront of medical cannabis told The Guardian this morning: “I am facing the fact that my son might go into refractory epileptic seizures again which can kill people. That’s how dangerous this is.
“Life is definitely not rosy but his quality of life since being on a medical cannabis prescription has been amazing. Alfie hasn’t been near a hospital for 2-years.”
Of course, the UK is currently facing a difficult future with the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the UK Government seem to be unaware of the toll Brexit is having on children in need of medical cannabis. It’s as if no thought was put into their future.
Tannine Montgomery, Sweet Pink CBD Founder, said: “What are we to do? Our children have had a fantastic quality of life in comparison to what would have been, had they never received medical cannabis. Now, that quality of life is being taken away from them.
“Although I produce my own CBD wellbeing products, an NHS prescription for medical cannabis products such as Bedrolite is vital to children like Indie-Rose and Alfie.”
In a bid to find a solution for families in the UK, Hannah Deacon has written to Boris Johnson; unfortunately to no avail. Receiving an automated response stating ‘The Prime Minister doesn’t reply to people that aren’t his constituents’.
Although the Department of Health have said alternative cannabis-based medicines available in the UK; they don’t understand these alternatives won’t suit every child. Each and every cannabis-based product is different. Each and every medical cannabis patient reacts differently to their prescription.
The Dutch Government recently announced current medical cannabis patients will continue to have their prescriptions fulfilled until 1 July 2021. While this provides patients with a reprieve, more permanent solutions need to be explored by our Government to ensure everyone has fair access.
So, we ask: what will the Government do to support families who are in desperate need of medical cannabis prescriptions from the EU?