Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Health
Medicinal Products Reimbursement
504. To ask the Minister for Health the policy in relation to medicinal cannabis reimbursement as part of the medicinal cannabis access programme; if a guarantee will be provided that no family or person that is granted access under the programme will be expected to incur the substantial cost of using medicinal cannabis as a treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2594/20]
In June 2019 I signed legislation to underpin the Medical Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP) which, once fully operational, will run on a 5-year pilot basis and is restricted to prescribing of cannabis-based products at medical consultant level, for those patients with certain medical conditions who have exhausted all other available treatment options.
The HSE is currently working on operationalisation of the MCAP. The reimbursement of approved products for patients accepted on the MCAP will be finalised in that context. In the interim, medical practitioners may continue to utilise the Ministerial licensing route to prescribe medical cannabis for their patients, should they wish to do so. Persons in receipt of a Ministerial Licence can apply to the HSE for reimbursement and if approved, will receive same.
The operational side of these applications for reimbursement are a matter for the HSE.