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London medical cannabis clinic gets CQC prescription approval

A medical cannabis clinic in London has become the first in the UK to be approved by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to issue medical cannabis prescriptions

London’s Sapphire Medical Clinic launched in July and gives clinicians the freedom to prescribe for severe epilepsy, chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, MS, arthritis, stroke and psychiatric conditions.

Medical cannabis clinics like this already exist in the UK. However, the Sapphire Clinic is the first to gain approval from England’s health and social care service regulator.

Managing director Dr Mikeal Sodergren described the practice as a potential ‘lifeline’ for many patients who have sought medical cannabis since it was legalised in November last year.

Speaking on the day of CQC approval, Dr Sodergren said:

“Today’s decision is a landmark moment in the supply of medical cannabis in the UK.

“We can now be the lifeline for GPs who are not permitted to prescribe themselves, but who think their patients could benefit from medical cannabis.”

Medical cannabis remains very difficult to obtain. NHS patients currently have only one cannabis treatment available to them.

Sativex, for multiple sclerosis, is rarely prescribed and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has deemed it not cost-effective.

This has led to many patients feeling failed by the change in the law.

Based in Marylebone, the Sapphire Medical Clinic has a waiting list of over 50 patients suffering from chronic pain and severe epilepsy.

Patients will have to pay £250 for an initial appointment and then £150 for each follow up visit.

Prescriptions can then be taken to pharmacies around the country which can then be import the drug from abroad.

Patients will have to wait a number of weeks before receiving their medication and the prescription cost will not be covered by the NHS.

Main Source: The Daily Mail

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