Welsh Labour MP for Ogmore, Chris Elmore, met with campaigners from the End Our Pain charity in Westminster last week to add his support to the ongoing difficulty they are facing. The Ogmore MP spoke with several parents who have been campaigning for their children to have access to medical cannabis for serious forms of epilepsy and other rare and debilitating illnesses.
Medicinal cannabis was legalised by the UK Government on 1 November last year, but many families who need the drug are still unable to access it. Many of them are instead being forced to spend thousands of pounds to travel to the Netherlands to get the medication their often severely ill children need.
At the event, Chris added his support to a letter to the Prime Minister, signed by cross-party MPs. The letter urged Boris Johnson to “get NHS prescriptions flowing as soon as possible” in order to help the families affected.
Speaking after the event, Chris Elmore MP said:
“It is absurd that despite changes to the law that make it legal to prescribe medical cannabis where there is a clear clinical need, families are still having to shell out thousands of pounds to improve their children’s quality of life.”
The NHS has strict controls over who can access medical cannabis, and it is only prescribed by clinical specialists in cases where other treatment options have been exhausted.
“These children and their families deserve better. The Health Secretary met with these families nearly a year ago and promised them “urgent action”. Yet they are still waiting.
“The UK Government must take decisive action now to ensure that these brave children are able to access a drug which can improve their lives so drastically.”