Written answers

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Department of Health

Medicinal Products

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
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99. To ask the Minister for Health the way in which parents of a child with a medical condition known to respond therapeutically to treatment with a cannabis based product can apply to have that product made available to their child in a prompt manner; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4616/17]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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Under the Misuse of Drugs Acts, cannabis and certain cannabis-related compounds are strictly controlled. It is open for an Irish registered doctor to apply for a licence for such preparations for an individual, named-patient under their care. Such applications will be considered on a case by case basis. The appropriateness of any particular treatment is a matter between the patient and their doctor, and the Minister for Health has no role in the patient-doctor relationship.

It would be expected that an application would be from a doctor actively involved in the treatment of their patient. The main elements of a licence application for a schedule 1 controlled drug will include:

- An outline of the treatment the patient has received to date and justification from the doctor as to why it is appropriate in their patient’s specific circumstances to prescribe a Schedule 1 drug;

- If the patient’s consultant is not the applicant, the views, if any, of the consultant in relation to the application;

- Details of the cannabis-based product which it is proposed to prescribe and administer to the patient;

- The source of the cannabis-based product;

- The arrangements for the ongoing monitoring and care of the patient once the cannabis-based treatment has commenced.

This information has been provided to individuals who contacted my Department for information and has been stated publicly by myself on a number of occasions. However, to date, just one application has been received from a doctor and following review, a licence has been granted to that doctor.


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