By Emily Ledger
Sapphire Medical Foundation – the financial aid and charity founded by Sapphire Medical Clinics – has announced that its next round of grant applications will be open from today. Successful applicants of the Sapphire Medical Foundation grant will receive financial aid toward the cost of medical cannabis prescriptions.
The Sapphire Foundation was launched by Sapphire Medical Clinics in order to provide financial aid to patients who could benefit from medical cannabis products. While medical cannabis was legalised in the UK in November 2018, access to cannabis-based medicines through the NHS remains extremely low.
Under current regulation, medical cannabis products can only be prescribed by a specialist clinician, of which there are relatively few in the UK. The vast majority of medical cannabis patients access their medicines through private clinics like Sapphire Medical Clinics. However, this means that patients often may be faced with financial barriers to the medicines that could work for them.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Sapphire Medical Foundation said:
“As a registered charity, the Sapphire Medical Foundation aims to reduce the financial barrier of access to medical cannabis for patients.
They continued: “The high cost associated with prescriptions for medical cannabis can be a barrier to what is for some people a life changing medication. As a result, some patients are unable to meet all of their regular financial obligations which impacts the ability to start or continue treatment.
“We will provide financial assistance to cover the costs of treatment for a minimum of one year for each patient who receives one of our grants.”
Successful applicants will receive one year of medical cannabis therapy, including the cost of medicines, consultations, and medical appointments.
The Grant Application Process
If you believe that you or someone you are caring for could benefit from medicinal cannabis, you can apply online for the Sapphire Medical Foundation Grant here.
You will need to fill out an application form which includes your contact, medical, and financial details. The application system will be open for six weeks, closing on March 14, 2021.
After this time, applications will be assessed through thorough eligibility criteria in accordance with the Foundation’s fair and transparent grant principles in order to ensure that support is provided where it is needed most.
Fundraising for the Sapphire Medical Foundation
Funding for the Sapphire Medical Foundation is maintained through donations, with Sapphire Medical Clinics contributing the cost of all appointments for successful applicants throughout the year.
If you are interested in contributing or spreading the word about the Sapphire Medical Foundation, you can visit their fundraising page here.
More information on the Sapphire Medical Foundation grant-making principles can be found here.