Access to medical cannabis is now allowed in Ireland under new programme
It will facilitate access to medical cannabis for certain medical conditions.
The Minister for Health Simon Harris has signed legislation which will allow for the operation of the Medical Cannabis Access Programme on a pilot basis for five years.
The programme will facilitate access to cannabis-based products for medical use, that are of a standardised quality and which meet the requirements outlined in the legislation.
The Medical Cannabis Access Programme will facilitate access to medical cannabis for patients under the care of a medical consultant for the following medical conditions, where the patient has failed to respond to standard treatments:
- spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis
- intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy
- severe, refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy
The medical consultant, in consultation with the patient, will be responsible for prescribing the cannabis-based treatment to the patient under their care.
Harris initially announced that a medicinal cannabis access scheme was to be established two years ago.
The delay in the programme resulted in clashes in the Dáil, including one between Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and People Before Profit TD Gino Kelly during Leader's Questions earlier this month.
Kenny was seeking confirmation of a commencement date for the Cannabis Access Programme in Ireland.
The Dublin TD told the Taoiseach of a Waterford family who are accessing medicinal cannabis in the Netherlands, at a cost of €9,000 a year, but the substantial cost is impossible for the family to maintain. They had asked Kelly to raise the matter in the Dáil.