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British National Health Bureaucrats Refuse to Pay for CBD for Children With Severe Epilepsy

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Article written by Richard Cowan, a former NORML National Director and author of Tips For Choosing The Right CBD Salve.


Over the decades that I have been involved in the marijuana legalization movement, I cannot begin to count the times I have heard the prohibitionists say, “Think of the children”, implying that anti-prohibitionists are indifferent to whether children might be harmed by any change in the laws..


See Think of the children


In the UK this mindless slogan has been used again and again whenever anyone proposed thinking about discussing considering possibly perhaps maybe lowering penalties or even arresting fewer people for simply possessing cannabis, even for medical use. Oh, the horror! “Think of the children!”


The deceit and hypocrisy of this preening self-righteousness has been laid bare in an article published on the BBC website


NHS ‘refuses’ medical cannabis for children with epilepsy


Under the British health care system, the government pays for prescription drugs, if an independent bureaucracy ironically called by the acronym NICE decides it would be cost effective.


See Cannabidiol with clobazam for treating seizures associated with Lennox–Gastaut syndrome


However, as the BBC reports, “The NHS has repeatedly refused to fund medical cannabis for children with severe epilepsy, families have said.


Three prescriptions are thought to have been written for “whole plant cannabis” oil since it was legalised two years ago, campaign group End Our Pain say.


But at least 20 families are paying for costly private prescriptions after being turned down by the NHS, it said.”


The Department of Health and Social Care says more research is needed before it can be routinely prescribed.


The mother of one child has to pay £2,000 ($2,600) a month for the medicine for her daughter who was having 300 seizures a day!!


Only one drug – called Epidyolex – is licensed in the UK and recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence as a treatment for epilepsy.


See The Curious Case of GW Pharmaceuticals


Some families say it does not effectively stop seizures.


This child was prescribed Epidyolex, but within two weeks she was experiencing up to 300 seizures a day. Doctors put the child in an induced coma and transported her to the intensive care unit at a childrens’ hospital. Of course, the government paid for the hospitalization, and it was vastly more expensive than the cannabis would have been.


Medical cannabis is saving the NHS millions of pounds a year by reducing the time children with severe epilepsy spend in hospital, but their parents have to pay for it.


Peter Carroll, of End Our Pain, said the campaign group works with about 20 families with private prescriptions, but there may be dozens more in a similar position or unable to pay for the drugs at all.


See: Mixing Alcohol & Cannabis (CBD/THC)


“Medical cannabis was legalised in 2018. But patients still can’t get access. Their terrible suffering continues. Help us to help them.

Over 1 year ago, on the 19th March 2019, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care met the families being denied NHS prescriptions for medical cannabis and promised them ‘urgent action’. Over a year later these families are still paying out thousands of pounds on private prescriptions. Urge your MP to support the families.”


Or perhaps they could just get out of the way and let everyone buy legal cannabis at a fraction of the cost, but NO! Think of the children! Yeah.