DOZENS of prescriptions got by GPs for medical hashish in Warrington within the final 5 years, figures present.
The findings come as charities urge for higher entry to medical hashish for these affected by neurological and autoimmune situations.
Medicines made out of hashish vegetation or artificial hashish can be utilized to deal with a variety of situations – comparable to a number of sclerosis, epilepsy and power ache.
Nonetheless, they’re costly to acquire, and a few medical professionals disagree on how efficient they’re.
Information from the NHS OpenPrescribing service present 44 prescriptions have been given out by GPs for these medicines within the former NHS Warrington CCG space over the previous 5 12 months.
None of those prescriptions had been made in 2022 and the information exhibits the variety of prescriptions given by GPs, somewhat than sufferers – a single affected person might have been prescribed a drug a number of instances over the identical 12 months.
These medication are solely used to deal with sure kinds of MS and comprise the energetic substances Tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol present in hashish vegetation.
Whereas not often prescribed, CBD is extensively accessible on UK excessive streets – albeit in various power and high quality.
In the meantime, substances containing THC stay unlawful outdoors of particular medical makes use of.
Prescription treatment may also be allotted straight by hospitals – with earlier analysis by the MS Society charity suggesting greater than half of prescribing of Sativex is thru secondary care.
The MS Society has been campaigning to make Sativex extra extensively accessible, and stated regardless of elevated availability, some well being our bodies is not going to at present fund the drug.
It says the treatment can have “life-changing results” for these affected by the situation, serving to to alleviate stiffness and muscle spasms.
Throughout the nation there have been simply 23 GP prescriptions for cannabidiol (CBD) based mostly medicines in 2022, that are usually used for treatment-resistant epilepsy – none of which had been in Warrington.
The NHS is hesitant to extensively prescribe these medicines because of restricted proof on their effectiveness and excessive prices.
Nonetheless, the charity Epilepsy Motion stated entry to medicinal hashish could make a “huge distinction” in lowering seizures when different remedies usually are not working.
Daniel Jennings, senior coverage and campaigns officer on the charity, stated: “Whereas it will not be efficient for some folks with epilepsy, the affect on high quality of life in profitable instances is large.”
He stated that whereas these medicines stay tough to pay money for via the NHS, folks with epilepsy face giant payments for purchasing them from non-public suppliers – with virtually 90,000 non-public prescriptions made between 2018 and 2022.