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Permanent medical cannabis delivery service to be established for Irish patients

The temporary service that was set up in April will now be made permanent.

Image: Shutterstock/Tinnakorn jorruang

PATIENTS WHO ARE prescribed medical cannabis will no longer need to travel to the Netherlands to collect medication, according to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.

A new permanent delivery service will be established, after a temporary delivery service was created in April due to the travel difficulties created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prior to Covid-19, patients would have had to travel to the Netherlands to collect prescriptions as the country forbid the commercial export of cannabis oils but would allow the filling of prescriptions from other EU states.

Minister Donnelly said that he had heard stories from families about how the temporary scheme had made a huge difference to their lives.

“I am so pleased that these problems will now be a thing of the past for them. There will no longer be a need for them to travel abroad in order to collect their prescribed cannabis products. Instead, they can focus on their health and wellbeing,” said Minister Donnelly.

The welfare of patients and their families comes first and I am happy to reassure them that they will no longer have to personally source their prescriptions.

According to the Department, officials will now work on how the scheme can be implemented on a permanent basis.

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In order for someone to get a prescription for medical cannabis, an application must be sent to the Department of Health and must be endorsed by the consultant who is responsible for the patient.

The medical decision on whether to prescribe or not prescribe a patient medical cannabis is solely up to the clinician. The Minister for Health does not play a role in this process.

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