U.K. families urging government to resolve medical cannabis supply issues following Brexit
Another family has come forward detailing how Brexit threatens its ability to acquire life-saving medical cannabis.
Emily and Spencer Carkeet spend £750 (almost $1,300) every month to import high-CBD Bedrolite cannabis oil from the Netherlands to treat their daughter, Clover, who has epilepsy, reports Somerset Live.
The medication has drastically reduced the number of seizures two-year-old Clover experiences, but with U.K. prescriptions no longer valid in the Netherlands following Brexit, the family is just weeks away from its supply running out.
“The government claims to be trying to sort it out, but at the moment, we have about 10 weeks of oil left,” Emily Carkeet told Somerset Live. “We are waiting for a shipment to come in that would last us another three months, but we don’t know if it will arrive.”
According to a report from The Times, there are more than 40 families in the U.K. in the same position.
“I am facing the fact that my son might go into refractory epileptic seizures again, which can kill people,” Hannah Deacon, mother of Alfie Dingley, the first patient in the U.K. to receive a permanent medical cannabis licence, told The Guardian earlier this month.
“That’s how dangerous this is. So to say, ‘Oh, you can swap it for another product, sorry we can’t help,’ it is grossly unacceptable. It’s very, very dangerous and I’m really frightened about what is going to happen,” Deacon said.
The Department of Health and Social Care has recommended that patients switch to “a range of alternative cannabis-based medicines available to U.K. patients,” and discuss alternatives with their doctors.
In response, a campaign, End our Pain, is calling for increased access to medical cannabis products within the U.K., including getting Bedrolite covered under the National Health Service (NHS).
Believing that the alternative products available under the NHS will produce the same therapeutic effects displays “an astonishing level of ignorance,” neurologist Dr. Mike Barnes, who helped secure Dingley’s prescription to Bedrolite, told The Guardian.
“Each variety of cannabis is subtly different and you can’t just swap a child from one product to another,” Dr. Barnes said.
Which is the case for the Carkeets. “There’s hundreds of compounds, one strain may work for one child and another could be completely useless. It’s dangerous and life-threatening,” Emily Carkeet told Somerset Live.
“We know of 42 children that take Bedrolite. They are all at risk,” she said.
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