Medicinal Cannabis for Epilepsy: Imagine being a mother, desperately searching for a way to help your child who suffers from epilepsy. That’s the reality for Charlene Londra from Kirkcaldy, Fife. Alongside other parents, she recently marched at Westminster, advocating for increased access to medicinal cannabis as a potential treatment for epilepsy. Despite its legal status and reported success, NHS doctors are hesitant to issue prescriptions, leaving families to shoulder the burden of high costs for private treatment. Charlene’s son, Gino, has experienced a significant reduction in seizures since starting private medicinal cannabis three years ago, but the family now faces a monthly bill of £1600. Charlene hopes that MPs will take notice of their efforts and work towards making medicinal cannabis a reality for epileptic patients in the UK.
Fife mother hopeful medicinal cannabis treatment become reality for epilepsy after Parliament march
As a parent of a child with epilepsy, you understand the challenges and struggles that come with finding effective treatment options. That’s why the recent march at Westminster by the Medcan Family Foundation is so significant. This advocacy group is fighting to increase access to medicinal cannabis for those living with epilepsy, and their efforts could have a profound impact on patients and their families.
Epilepsy is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide, making it crucial to explore various treatment options. While there are existing treatments available, they often come with limitations and side effects. This is where medicinal cannabis enters the picture, as it has shown promising results in managing seizures and improving the quality of life for epilepsy patients.
Medcan Family Foundation March
The Medcan Family Foundation organized a march at Westminster, bringing together parents from across the United Kingdom who are advocating for increased access to medicinal cannabis. Led by Charlene Londra, a mother from Kirkcaldy, this patient advocacy group aims to raise awareness and push for policy changes that will help those living with epilepsy. Their dedication and determination are truly inspiring.
The Current Situation
Despite the legalization of medicinal cannabis in the UK, its availability remains limited, particularly for epilepsy patients. Many other countries have embraced these treatments as standard care for epilepsy patients, while the UK lags behind due to bureaucratic hurdles. Government intervention is crucial to ensure that these life-saving medications reach those who need them the most.
Lack of NHS Prescriptions
One of the main issues that epilepsy patients and their families face is the reluctance of NHS doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis. While the government legalized its use in 2018, guidelines and red tape have hindered its widespread adoption within the NHS. As a result, families have been forced to seek private consultations and pay out of pocket for access to this treatment, creating further barriers for those in need.
Available Cannabis-based Products in Scotland
In Scotland, only three cannabis-based products have been licensed: Sativex, Nabilone, and Epidyolex. However, many specialist doctors have expressed concerns about the safety and efficacy of these products, citing a lack of robust evidence on their use and potential side effects. This limited range of available options further reinforces the need for increased access to medicinal cannabis for epilepsy patients.
High Costs for Families
The financial burden associated with accessing medicinal cannabis is a significant concern for many families. Private consultations can cost hundreds of pounds, and prescriptions can be scarce due to the limited number of clinicians willing to prescribe to pediatric patients. On top of that, the monthly expenses for maintaining the treatment can quickly add up, placing a tremendous strain on already struggling families.
Local Efforts by Charlene Londra
Charlene Londra, a mother from Kirkcaldy, has been at the forefront of the fight for increased access to medicinal cannabis. Her son Gino has been taking private cannabis-based medication for three years, which has significantly reduced his seizures. Charlene’s personal experience has fueled her determination to help other families and break down the barriers preventing them from accessing this potentially life-changing treatment.
Meeting with Neale Hanvey, MP
Charlene has met with Neale Hanvey, the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, to discuss the challenges faced by epilepsy patients and their families. While the talks have been positive, more action is needed to bring about tangible changes. The support of MPs and other policymakers is crucial in advocating for policy changes that will improve access to medicinal cannabis for epilepsy patients.
Call for Action
The battle for increased access to medicinal cannabis for epilepsy patients is far from over. It is essential for the government to intervene and address the barriers preventing these life-saving treatments from reaching those who need them. Advocacy efforts, such as the Medcan Family Foundation march and the dedication of parents like Charlene Londra, play a vital role in raising awareness and pushing for policy changes. Together, we can make a difference and improve access to medicinal cannabis for epilepsy treatment.
Importance of Medicinal Cannabis for Epilepsy Treatment
Medicinal cannabis has shown great potential in managing seizures and improving the quality of life for epilepsy patients. By advocating for increased access to these treatments, we can provide hope and relief to those living with this debilitating condition. The impact on patients and their families cannot be understated, as it has the potential to reduce seizures, improve cognitive functioning, and enhance overall well-being.
Impact on Patients and Families
For epilepsy patients, every day is filled with uncertainty and the fear of unpredictable seizures. This not only affects their physical health but also takes an emotional toll on their mental well-being. By providing access to medicinal cannabis, we can offer a lifeline to those who have exhausted other treatment options. This means fewer seizures, better control over symptoms, and a chance to live a more fulfilling and independent life. Additionally, families no longer have to suffer the financial burden and emotional stress associated with seeking private consultations and paying exorbitant costs for medication. The positive impact on patients’ and families’ lives cannot be overstated.