By Roland Sebestyén
In an historic move, Ireland’s Health Services (HSE) will start prescribing medical cannabis products to those in need of special treatment from mid-October.
According to The Times, CannEpil is a phytocannabinoid-derived Investigational Medicinal Product (IMP) designed to treat Drug Resistant Epilepsy with a high CBD, low THC formula that will be made available for patients with severe health conditions.
The Times reports that the scheme will be only for those suffering from spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, and patients with refractory epilepsy “on the basis that their condition has been resistant to alternative medicines.”
Reportedly, Shaun Flanagan, the HSE’s assistant national director of primary care reimbursement services, will make the announcement today.
A few weeks ago, Canex reported that as part of the Medicinal Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP), MGC Pharma’s cannabis-derived epilepsy IMP, CannEpil, will be fully covered by the HSE in Ireland later this year.
Then, Roby Zomer, Co‐founder and Managing Director of MGC Pharma, said: “This is a key moment for MGC Pharma and for the Irish patients who can now receive cannabis‐based treatments covered by the National Health Insurance.
“Furthermore, this is a critical moment in the roll out of CannEpil both in Ireland and worldwide.
“Our goal is to improve the lives of people who suffer from Refractory Epilepsy and other indications, and by making CannEpil available free to access for patients in Ireland, this will now be the case.
“Combined with record monthly sales in May for our leading phytocannabinoid derived medicines, the company continues to deliver on its goal of building a strong and sustainable global bio‐pharma business.
“With further Clinical Trials of CannEpil underway, we hope to be able to increase the supply and availability of the medicine in the most affordable way to epilepsy sufferers globally in the near future.”
Ireland’s medical cannabis programme is expected to be similar to that of the UK.