By Roland Sebestyén
The family of a Scottish boy has made an urgent appeal following the halt of medical cannabis oil supply from the Netherlands as a result of Brexit. The products have reportedly helped to keep the child, who suffers from epilepsy, seizure-free when other medications have failed.
Daily Record reports that Murray Gray, who was at one point experiencing 600 seizures a day, is one of only a few Scots who has so far been deemed eligible to receive “life-changing” cannabis as medicine. However, Murray’s parents claim that he could now be in grave danger due to new regulations since the UK left the European Union as they are now struggling to purchase cannabis oil.
Murray has been seizure-free since the introduction of medical cannabis treatment in June 2019. According to reports, he’s no longer in a wheelchair and no longer needs to wear a protective hat as protection for potential seizures. Furthermore, his speech has improved over the last year two years and he is now in full-time education.
However, the family was paying £1,400 a month to get cannabis oil from the Netherlands to provide Murray with the three doses he needs each day. Now, Brexit has introduced another hurdle to keep Murray healthy.
It comes after Scottish MP Ronnie Cowan said “a post-Brexit ticking time bomb means families face crisis as supplies of Dutch medical cannabis will no longer be made available to UK patients.”
She told the Daily Record: “Without the cannabis treatment his day will be full of seizures and the worst trauma but the medicine stabilises and allows him to have a far more normal life. The treatment has meant he hasn’t had a seizure since 2019.
“It really makes no sense that the UK accepts the benefits of this treatment but we don’t cover it on prescription.
“We need UK supplies to help people like Murray and we really need to make the big step forward to ensure that families are not forced to make these huge payments for vital treatment themselves.”
At the same time, a Scottish Government spokesperson told the paper that their hands are tied.
They said: “It would be inappropriate for ministers to intervene in decisions on the treatment, including clinical guidance, or funding for individual patients, for which we must trust clinicians and the NHS.
“It is also important to note that the regulation, licensing and supply of medicines remain reserved to the UK Government.
“On the continued access to Bedrocan products following the end of the EU Transition Period, the Scottish Government is relieved for the families affected that the interim solution has been extended and that they will not have their prescriptions disrupted, despite the wider disruption caused as a result of the UK Government’s Brexit policy.
“While policy on Brexit remains reserved to the UK Government, Scottish Government officials will continue to do all they can to work with the UK Government to try to find a workable, lawful and sustainable solution for the families affected.”