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Chamber and committees

Motion ref. S6M-03233

Access to Cannabis-based Products for Medicinal Use

Submitted by: Collette Stevenson, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party.
Date lodged: Thursday, March 3, 2022

Supported by: Karen Adam, Clare Adamson, Siobhian Brown, Stephanie Callaghan, Emma Harper, Bill Kidd, Monica Lennon, Rona Mackay, Ruth Maguire, Marie McNair, Pauline McNeill, Audrey Nicoll, Paul Sweeney, David Torrance, Mercedes Villalba
Current status: Taken in the Chamber on Wednesday, June 1, 2022

That the Parliament welcomes the Home Office’s rescheduling of certain cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPMs) in 2018; notes the reported improvement in some children with treatment resistant epilepsy who take CBPMs, such as Cole Thomson, from East Kilbride, who it understands receives Bedrolite on private prescription; acknowledges the reported financial pressure that these prescriptions can place on families; further acknowledges the reported hesitancy of NHS consultants to prescribe unlicensed CBPMs due to the lack of robust evidence; notes the view that the rescheduling does not go far enough in assisting some patients, and the calls for a change in rules to allow GPs, who consider it appropriate, to prescribe unlicensed CBPMs where a non-NHS consultant has initiated that course of treatment; understands that the British Paediatric Neurology Association published its updated Guidance on the use of cannabis-based products for medicinal use in children and young people with epilepsy in October 2021, which, it considers, outlines concerns around the lack of randomised control trials demonstrating a product’s safety, quality and efficacy; acknowledges the Scottish Government’s reported commitment to collaborate with NHS England and the National Institute for Health Research to support research trials into medicinal cannabis in order to give NHS consultants the assurances that they need to consider prescribing CBPMs on the NHS; understands that, once a medicinal product has undergone clinical trials, it could be considered by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for licensing and that this could lead to further consideration by organisations such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the Scottish Medicines Consortium and NHS Scotland; notes the calls for industry to run observational and clinical trials; believes that an increased evidence base offers the best opportunities for expansion of the range of CBPMs available from the NHS; welcomes the reported plans by Target Healthcare, which operates in East Kilbride, to produce CBPMs in Scotland, and notes the calls on the Scottish and UK governments to work together to find solutions on these issues.