FAMILIES 4 ACCESS AND UNITED PATIENCE ALLIANCE SUBMIT LETTER TO SECRETARY OF STATE AMID RESULTS OF FIRST PANEL DELIBERATIONS
As news emerges of the results of the first expert panel deliberations, Families 4 Access with the United Patience Alliance have written to the new secretary of state for help, Matt Hancock, urging him to intervene to provide clinical advice to doctors and clinicians to alleviate the anxiety of the stressed parents.
Thursday, 12 July 2018
Dear Secretary of State,
On behalf of Families 4 Access and United Patients Alliance, representing the interests of the medical cannabis patients in the UK, we would like to both congratulate you and wish you a successful tenure upon your appointment to Secretary of State for Health.
As patient advocate groups, we have warmly welcomed recent announcements by the Home Secretary and Chief Medical Officer relating to cannabis-based medicines, following the high profile cases of Billy Caldwell, who we represent, and Alfie Dingley.
However, based on our members' early interactions with clinicians, neither the new Home Office expert panel that considers applications in exceptional cases where there is an unmet clinical need nor any future re-scheduling of cannabis, as proposed by the Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies, will have the desired effect in the absence of a significant intervention from your new department.
British doctors have neither the knowledge nor data to enable them to make considered clinical judgments. They have also received no guidelines from Royal Colleges or their professional associations that would enable them to make informed decisions. As a consequence, the parents and patients we represent are making little progress with their doctors and consultants. This is now causing them considerable distress, and they are becoming increasingly vocal about it. We would urge you to now engage with us and provide leadership on this issue. Across the world in Australia, Canada, and US there is substantial experience of implementing medicinal cannabis programmes.
We would like to invite you to work with the world's foremost experts in this field to inject vital learning into this process and have extended an invitation to you to join us at the first of our 'Global Masterclasses on Medicinal Cannabis' in London on 23 July (details attached).
We further would welcome a process of productive engagement with your department and relevant non-departmental government bodies and would welcome your advice regarding this.
Marina Kim, on behalf of Families 4 Access &
Jon Liebling, on behalf of United Patients Alliance