Cannabis-based treatments at Alder Hey

Cannabis-based treatments at Alder Hey

Cannabis-based treatments at Alder Hey

19th Mar 2019

On the 31 October 2018 the UK government rescheduled cannabis-based medicines. This process meant that legally, specialist doctors in the UK could prescribe these medicines for patients with “exceptional clinical need” including children and young people with severe and treatment-resistant epilepsies.

When enquiring about such treatments, it's worth remembering that the Trust cannot comment on individual cases.

Our current process for cannabis-based treatments is as follows:

Neurologists at Alder Hey will consider whether a child is eligible to take cannabis based medical products taking into account a number of factors. This includes the clinical history of the child; the scientific and clinical evidence for use of cannabis based medical products in particular clinical situations, and published guidance from NHS England and the British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA). Alder Hey always works closely with families to discuss treatment options.

The fact that it is now legal for specialist doctors to prescribe some cannabis-based medicines does not mean that it will happen in every case. The change in the law was the beginning of the process to make these medicines available to those who could benefit.

It is also important to remember that currently all cannabis-based medicines that could be used to treat some people with epilepsy are unlicensed in the UK. Prescribing any unlicensed medicine in the UK is a complex process.

For more information about the guidance, go to https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/involved/campaigns/cannabis

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