The government and pharmaceutical industry are leaving patients to suffer without access to medicinal cannabis because of a lack of urgency in addressing prescribing issues and research, MPs have said.
A report by the Commons Health and Social Care Committee (HSCC) has said ministers' failure to explain the realities of its medicinal cannabis legislation has left the NHS managing frustrated patients.
Despite legislation taking effect in November only a handful of prescriptions have been issued and the committee said the government set expectations too high without establishing the evidence for its use.
The HSCC report urges ministers to fund medicinal cannabis in areas like epilepsy where the drug could make the biggest difference.
It also called for a “name and shame” policy for cannabis companies which fail to provide research to back up their products’ claims and for government to stop confiscating prescriptions obtained overseas.
“There needs to be a sense of urgency to explore the potential of medicinal cannabis in these conditions so that there is a robust research base on which to base future clinical decisions,” the report said.
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