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The United Kingdom has recently made a significant move on the path of medical legalisation, in November 2018 deciding to permit the prescription of medical cannabis.
This means that individuals suffering from certain medical conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis can access life-enhancing treatments. However, while medical cannabis is available, the question of whether people have to pay for it arises.
This post seeks to provide an explanation of the current situation and discuss what viable options are available to those in need of medical cannabis in the UK.
The availability of medical cannabis has been a contentious issue in the UK for some time, with the government only recently deciding to lift certain restrictions. This is a welcome step for those living with medical conditions for which cannabis has been medically proven to be effective.
The UK has recently implemented regulations that allow medical cannabis to be prescribed by medical practitioners in certain cases. This is a result of the Home Office introducing changes to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.
The new regulations allow UK medical practitioners to prescribe medical cannabis that has been approved by the European Medicines Agency.
Patients are able to access medical cannabis on the NHS and must pay the applicable fees. However, the regulations also allow for private prescriptions, which may be subject to additional costs.
Generally, in the UK, any patient who is over the age of 18 and has a valid prescription from a registered medical practitioner is eligible to access medical cannabis products.
In order to obtain a prescription, the patient must have an established medical condition that is considered to be treatable with cannabis, such as chronic pain or epilepsy.
Additionally, the patient must be registered with a specialised medical cannabis clinic in order to receive the treatment.
When talking about reimbursement options available to cover the cost of medical cannabis, it is important to note that in the UK, medical cannabis is not available on the NHS.
However, depending on your financial situation and personal circumstances, there are a number of routes you may wish to explore to help cover the cost of your medical cannabis.
In conclusion, while the UK’s medical cannabis system is much more restrictive than many other countries, it is possible to legally access medical cannabis in the UK with a prescription from a specialist doctor.
However, the cost of medical cannabis can be prohibitive for many patients, with the cost of some products reaching hundreds of pounds per month. As such, more needs to be done to ensure that cost is not a barrier to accessing medical cannabis for those who need it.