The St Helen Star reports………THE MP for St Helens South and Whiston has urged the government to hurry its planned roll out of medicinal cannabis on the NHS.
A change in the law in 2018 enabled doctors to legally prescribe medicinal cannabis for some serious conditions, such as severe forms of epilepsy.
However, many parents across the UK are spending thousands of pounds each month on the treatment for their children.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested issues surrounding the cost of the drugs were delaying the process of having these drugs available on the NHS.
Marie Rimmer, MP for St Helens South and Whiston, said it is a “complete outrage” that people are suffering when there is a legal medical solution available.
The Labour MP said the longer the government waits, the “longer the suffering continues”.
“For me, the question of medicinal cannabis is simple,” Ms Rimmer said.
“If there are children and adults out there suffering, and we have the capability can help ease their pain, then we have a duty to do it. It really is that simple.
“Medicinal cannabis can help ease the suffering of people. Using medicinal cannabis is now legal, but the government is yet to roll it out on the NHS.
“It’s a complete outrage, there are people up and down this country suffering and we have the medical ability to stop it. And that’s the legal medical ability to stop it.
“The longer the government waits, the longer the suffering continues. I will keep pressing the government to get the medicine available to those who need it.”
Earlier this month, around 20 families travelled to Westminster to lobby MPs over medication for severely epileptic children.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Hancock said he’s been working “incredibly hard to try to get these drugs available on the NHS”
“I’ve been trying to move it forward but it’s moved more slowly than I hoped for. I totally understand the efforts of the parents,” Mr Hancock said.
“We’ve got to keep trying to make progress on this. But it comes down to the drug companies to make them in the right way.
“They need to come to the table on this.”