Patients suffering rare seizures to get Cannabis-based medicine on NHS for first time
People with rare seizure-causing disorder will now be able to access a cannabis-based medicine on the NHS for the first time.
NHS England announced doctors would be able to prescribe Epidyolex to those with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) from this week (January 31).
Around 1,000 patients could benefit from the treatment which campaigners say will be "life-changing."
Every year 6,000 people experience the rare genetic condition which causes non-cancerous tumours to develop in different parts of the body leaving suffers health issues from epilepsy to learning difficulties.
Dr Pooja Takhar, of tuberous sclerosis association said: "We’re thrilled that people with TSC in England will now have access to cannabidiol, a potentially life-changing medicine for the 8 in 10 people in the UK who have TSC and also difficult to treat TSC-related epilepsy".
Clinical trials have shown the oral solution, which contains cannabidiol (CBD), could reduce the number of seizures by up to 30 per cent in some people, saving potentially thousands of lives.
Dr Pooja added: "Epilepsy can have a massive impact on overall quality of life for individuals and entire families, meaning that this approval could have a huge benefit to many people with TSC-related epilepsy.”
A change in the law in 2018 made it legal for doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis.
Since, Epidyolex has been cleared for NHS use to treat five different conditions including multiple sclerosis, severe epilepsies known as Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, and for adults experiencing nausea caused by chemotherapy.
Unlike recreational cannabis - also know as weed - medical cannabis will not get you 'high'.