This can’t really come as a surprise to anyone.
The independent reports..
Brexit letter threatens to leave epileptic children without access to life-saving medicine
Campaigners say that some 40 severely epileptic children and their families may no longer be able to obtain medication they are “completely reliant on” after the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) told UK importers, clinics and several patient groups that UK prescriptions cannot be lawfully dispensed in the EU starting 1 January 2021.
This means that the current supply of medical cannabis products from the Netherlands used by the children will be terminated.
Campaigners say the type of medical cannabis used to treat epileptic children has reduced the number of life-threatening seizures and significantly improved their quality of life in recent years.
In the letter, sent on 15 December and seen by The Independent, the DHSC advised importers to liaise with pharmacies, clinics and prescribers to advise users on alternative products, because “dispensing finished cannabis oil (Bedrocan products) in the Netherlands against prescriptions from UK prescribers is no longer an option from 1 January 2021”.
But campaigners say it’s difficult for families to find alternative sources or products.
“Medical cannabis is not one single product,” a spokesperson for the End Our Pain campaign told The Independent. “Families have tried different products and found what works for their child. Now that supply is being threatened.”
He said families made pleas to the prime minister, the health secretary and the NHS for urgent assistance.
“The termination of medical cannabis supply from the Netherlands to the UK is a matter of life and death for these children,” the spokesperson said. “It’s imperative that the government act now to help reach a solution and help these families … This letter, sent so close to the transition deadline, has left us scrambling to find a solution based on very limited information.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We sympathise with patients dealing with challenging conditions and there is a range of alternative cannabis-based medicines available to UK patients.