To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of supply of medicinal cannabis so that people who require it are able to fill their prescriptions lawfully after the transition period.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
8 February 2021
The Department, supported by the British Embassy to The Hague, has reached an agreement with the Dutch Government to allow the continued supply of Bedrocan oils, a form of unlicensed medicinal cannabis, against United Kingdom prescriptions for existing patients until 1 July 2021. The medicines supply chain has ensured that there continues to be good supply of licensed and unlicensed cannabis-based medicines after the transition period.
The Written Ministerial Statement of 26 January HCWS734 provided an update on action taken by the Government on supply from the Netherlands and next steps to establish a more permanent solution.
The Department has not made an assessment of the efficacy of the different unlicensed cannabis-based medicines. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidance that states that there is insufficient evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of these products, to support their use in the National Health Service. The Department is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement and the National Institute of Health Research to establish clinical trials to develop the evidence base to support further commissioning decisions.