Ireland’s Health Products Regulatory Agency has recommended medical cannabis under a five-year pilot program that would allow access for patients with multiple sclerosis, treatment-resistant epilepsy, and intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, according to a report from Ireland’s national public service broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann.
Lorraine Nolan, HPRA chief executive, said the agency could not recommend widespread access due to “insufficient information on the treatment of long-term medical conditions.”
“In addition, most cannabis products available under international access schemes do not meet pharmaceutical quality requirements for medicines,” she said in the report.
Eugene Lennon, principal officer of the Department of Health, indicated officials are examining legislation required to roll-out the program and that while the program remains a priority for Health Minister Simon Harris, “patients accessing cannabis under the program will need to be recommended for cannabis treatment by a relevant medical consultant involved in the patient’s care.” He added that one patient has already been granted a license to use medical cannabis, while a second application was denied.
The HPRA report suggests that medical cannabis access should only be granted as part of a formal ongoing clinical evaluation process.
According to the report, nine European countries have medical cannabis programs similar to the one proposed by the HPRA, and three have wider access regimes.
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