A new report by the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee has asked the government to desist from confiscating prescribed medicinal cannabis obtained overseas under specialist supervision.
“We should not be treating patients, or their families, who are resorting to bringing medication here from abroad because they cannot obtain it on prescription here as if they are committing a criminal offence,” the report reads.
The report, published on Wednesday, follows the committee’s inquiry after the rescheduling in November 2018 of medicinal cannabis that allowed the products to be more available for research and prescribing.
The report directed the government and the pharmaceutical industry to make sure that the necessary clinical trials into medicinal cannabis are taken forward. There should be a greater sense of urgency about exploring its potential in the treatment of childhood epilepsy, it asked.
The MPs further recommended to ‘name and shame’ the pharmaceutical companies which do not provide their medicinal cannabis product for research and take appropriate action if necessary.
“Expectations were unfairly raised that these products would become widely and readily available, and there needs to be far clearer communication that this is not the case,” said Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, chair of the committee.
“At present, there are too many gaps in the evidence to allow most forms of medicinal cannabis to be licensed for use and approved by NICE. We welcome the calls for research proposals from the NIHR and we recommend that intractable childhood epilepsy should be a priority.”