The HSE has announced funding for a new Medicinal Cannabis Access Programme for patients in Ireland later this year.
The new programme will enable consultants to prescribe cannabis-based medical products to patients where conventional treatments have been unsuccessful.
The medicine will be available to patients with conditions including multiple sclerosis, severe epilepsy and nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.
“It is important to state that there are no plans to legalise cannabis in this country,” said Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.
“The purpose of this Programme is to facilitate compassionate access to cannabis for medical reasons, where conventional treatment has failed. It follows the clear pathway laid out by the Health Products Regulatory Authority in their expert report ‘Cannabis for Medical Use – A Scientific Review’.
“Ultimately it will be the decision of the medical consultant, in consultation with their patient, to prescribe a particular treatment, including a cannabis-based treatment, for a patient under their care.”
Four cannabis-based products have already been assessed as acceptable by the HPRA. Further products are currently being assessed and if assessed as acceptable, will be added to the schedule of products for inclusion in the Programme.