Pubdate: Fri, 11 Jul 2014
Source: Irish Times, The (Ireland)
Copyright: 2014 The Irish Times
Page: 5
Bookmark: (GW Pharmaceuticals)


Regulations to allow for the prescribing of medicinal cannabis are to 
be finalised within the next week. The regulations will permit the 
prescribing of cannabis-based medicines to relieve muscle spasm 
symptoms in people with multiple sclerosis.

Minister of State for Health Alex White said he was hopeful he would 
be able to sign the regulations before the end of the week.

An application to allow Sativex, which contains extracts from the 
leaf and flower of the cannabis plant, to be sold in the Irish market 
has been received by the Irish Medicines Board.

Mr White told the Oireachtas health committee the Draft Misuse of 
Drugs (Amendment) Regulations were drafted following consultation 
with experts. They would enable medicines like Sativex to be legally 
prescribed by doctors and used by patients while maintaining the 
existing "tight control" on cannabis.

Meanwhile, Minister for Health James Reilly said he was considering 
making it easier to access epi-pens for use by people suffering major 
allergic shocks in an emergency. Earlier this year the committee 
heard from the family of teenager Emma Sloane, who died after being 
refused an epi-pen while suffering from a major anaphylactic shock.

The Minister said there were "complex considerations" to ensure 
patient safety was maintained. "These include the misdiagnosis of 
anaphylaxis, and the potential adverse implications of incorrect or 
inappropriate administration".
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