Written question – medical cannabis [09/09/2019]

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many prescriptions for medical cannabis have been issued on the NHS since the rescheduling of cannabis based products. (284234)

Tabled on: 02 September 2019

Jo Churchill:

NHS England and NHS Improvement are using extant systems to monitor use of the newly rescheduled unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use in England. In England, these systems monitor the number of items dispensed and associated costs in primary care and the volume of products used and associated cost in secondary care. NHS England and NHS Improvement Controlled Drug Accountable Officers are also collecting local intelligence in both the National Health Service and independent sector.

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) is only able to provide information on prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines that have been prescribed and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority. It does not hold information on prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines which have been issued but not fulfilled.

The following table shows the number of items for Nabilone and Sativex (licensed cannabis-based medicines) and unlicensed cannabis-based medicines that were prescribed on a NHS prescription, dispensed in the community and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority for reimbursement between November 2018 and June 2019.

Month Licensed cannabis-based medicines Unlicensed cannabis-based medicines
Nabilone Sativex
November 2018 46 175 2
December 2018 49 181 1
January 2019 44 167 2
February 2019 36 159 1
March 2019 51 171 2
April 2019 49 156 2
May 2019 59 176 2
June 2019 47 187 0
Total 381 1,372 12

In addition to the above, 185 patients have accessed Epidiolex/Epidyolex though the manufacturer’s (GW Pharma) early access programmes ahead of a licensing decision by the European Medicines Agency.

The answer was submitted on 09 Sep 2019 at 16:20.