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Cannabis: Medical Treatments

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 133112, tabled on 30 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the efficacy of alleviating medical conditions with (a) Bedrocan oils and (b) alternate cannabis-based medicines in place of finished cannabis oil.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

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.

Named day
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