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Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019
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A report on medicinal cannabis will be in the Oireachtas today

The meeting will take place at 12pm today.

THE OIREACHTAS HEALTH committee will today meet with representatives of the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) to consider the findings of the agency’s report ‘Cannabis for Medical Use – A Scientific Review’.

The meeting will take place at 12pm today and can be viewed here.

The issue has been brought to the fore by the campaign of Vera Twomey. Last week she began a 260km walk from her home in Cork to the Dáil, a walk which will end today. She is protesting the decisions to restrict her daughter Ava, who has rare form of epilepsy called Dravet’s syndrome, from accessing the drug.

On Saturday, she told TheJournal.ie that she planned to stay in Dublin until she was satisfied.

“They can no longer hide behind their excuses or reports or reviews.

“We’re coming to Dublin, we’re gathering people and we’re not leaving Dublin until Ava gets what she needs.”

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Committee Chairman, Dr. Michael Harty said:

“This report has been brought forward by a working group in the HPRA at the request of the Minister for Health, Simon Harris.

“The Minister asked for the views of the HPRA on recent developments in the use of cannabis for medical purposes from a scientific standpoint, and I hope it will assist him in considering these policy decisions in making medicinal cannabis products available for the three clinical circumstances identified in the report. In particular, can such products be made available under Ministerial licence or will legislative changes be required?”

The HPRA report advises that, if a policy decision is taken to permit cannabis under an access programme, it should be for the treatment of patients with:

  • Spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis resistant to all standard therapies and interventions whilst under expert medical supervision
  • Intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, despite the use of standard anti-emetic regimes whilst under expert medical supervision
  • Severe, refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy that has failed to respond to standard anticonvulsant medications whilst under expert medical supervision.

Read: ‘We’re not leaving Dublin until Ava gets what she needs’ – Vera Twomey continues her walk to the Dáil

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