Wednesday, 3 March 2021
Department of Health
Cannabis for Medicinal Use
994. To ask the Minister for Health the timeframe for the commencement of the medicinal cannabis access programme in 2021; the funding that has been allocated for the programme; if those who are in receipt of a ministerial licence will be included in the programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12078/21]
The Medical Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP) has been included in the HSE National Service Plan 2021.
The HSE will be responsible for the operation of the programme. The HSE will establish and maintain a Register to facilitate the enrolment and recording of certain data including patient identifiers (in anonymised format), prescribers enrolled in the Programme, as well as prescribed / supplied medical cannabis products.
The HSE has indicated that it is looking at commencement in June 2021.
Ministerial licences under Section 14 of the Misuse of Drugs Act are issued to clinicians whose applications to treat their patients with cannabis-based products have been approved.
The Medical Cannabis Access Programme is for the treatment of three specified conditions:
- spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis resistant to all standard therapies and interventions whilst under expert medical supervision
- intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, despite the use of standard anti-emetic regimes whilst under expert medical supervision
- severe, refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy that has failed to respond to standard anticonvulsant medications whilst under expert medical supervision
A Consultant currently in possession of a Ministerial licence under the Misuse of Drugs Acts to treat their patient suffering from one of the three specified conditions in the Medical Cannabis Programme can apply to that Programme in order to treat their patient.