Written question – Home Office [12/02/2020]

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department will announce more details on the drugs summit taking place in Glasgow on 27 February 2020. (12956)

Tabled on: 05 February 2020

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what relevant organisations and stakeholders have been invited to attend the drugs summit in Glasgow on 27 February 2020. (12957)
    Tabled on: 05 February 2020

Kit Malthouse:

The Summit will be an opportunity for dialogue between partners from all parts of the UK on the challenges of, and potential solutions to tackling the harms of, drug misuse. There will be representation at the Summit from all parts of the UK, including contributions from Glasgow, from public health leads of all four nations, and from UK Government Ministers as well as Ministers from each of the devolved administrations.

The Summit will bring together different perspectives across healthcare, law enforcement, prevention and recovery. As part of this there will be discussion of the forthcoming findings of the independent Review of Drugs, hearing from Professor Dame Carol Black about the demand and supply landscape and the nature of drug misuse. Dame Carol’s work will make an important contribution to the evidence base that we can use to take action to tackle drug misuse and the harms it causes.

Announcements on the Summit were made on 23 October 2019 and 24 January this year. Further information will be issued in due course. The full list of invitees is being finalised, taking account of suggestions from the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as from a range of UK Government departments and others. Invitations that have so far been issued include those to the chief medical officers for each part of the UK and chief scientists in relevant departments and in the devolved administrations. Further invitations will be issued over the coming days.

The answer was submitted on 12 Feb 2020 at 15:53.

Written question – Transport [07/02/2020]

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to include e-scooters in the cycle to work scheme. (10396)

Tabled on: 30 January 2020

George Freeman:

The Department has no plans to include e-scooters in the Cycle to Work Scheme. The Cycle to Work Scheme is an employee tax-benefit scheme that enables employees to hire cycles and cycle safety equipment for active travel to work from their employer, or from a third party, in return for a deduction from their earnings via salary sacrifice. The Future of Mobility Regulatory Review is considering appropriate legislation and support framework for emerging micro-mobility vehicles including electric scooters.

The answer was submitted on 07 Feb 2020 at 13:43.


Written question – medical cannabis [04/02/2020]

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to expedite the processes for granting import licences for cannabis-based products for medicinal use. (8362)

Tabled on: 27 January 2020

Kit Malthouse:

All applications are considered individually on their merits and with regards to our obligation under International Conventions and Domestic law. Applications for importation of CBPMs are already expedited, where documentation and regulatory approval is provided, in recognition of the need to ensure continuity of the supply of unlicensed medicines. Applications for import licences are normally decided within a few working days.

The answer was submitted on 04 Feb 2020 at 15:54.


Written question – DWP [30/01/2020]

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to complete the process of back paying claimants who were incorrectly moved from severe disability premium on to universal credit. (4395)

Tabled on: 16 January 2020

Justin Tomlinson:

The SDP gateway has been in place for over a year to prevent those claimants entitled to the Severe Disability Premium (SDP) as part of their legacy benefit from claiming Universal Credit. We have successfully identified eligible former SDP claimants who have already moved to Universal Credit due to a change in circumstances, providing them with monthly payments and a lump sum in arrears, where appropriate.

As of 17 January 2020, 15,397 claims have been paid an SDP transitional payment. The average (median) value of the lump sum payments is £2,280. To date, over £51.5m has been disbursed to support former SDP claimants, including the recurring payments that have now commenced.

Positive progress has been made and caseload growth has now slowed, however, in the event a new case is discovered payments will be in place quickly. It is not possible to estimate when we will have paid everyone who is entitled as some people become entitled to these payments retrospectively, and therefore the caseload is not a fixed number.

The answer was submitted on 30 Jan 2020 at 10:49.


Written question – Medical cannabis [23/01/2020]

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many prescriptions for medical cannabis were issued by the NHS in 2019. (3830)

Tabled on: 15 January 2020

Jo Churchill:

NHS England and NHS Improvement is using extant systems to monitor the use of 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 is only able to provide information on prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines that have been prescribed and submitted to it. The NHS Business Services Authority 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, Sativex and Epidyolex (licensed cannabis-based medicines) and unlicensed cannabis-based medicines that were prescribed on an NHS prescription, dispensed in the community and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority for reimbursement between January and October 2019 (October 2019 is the most recent dispensing data held by the NHS Business Services Authority).

Month Licensed Cannabis-based medicines Unlicensed cannabis-based medicines
Nabilone Sativex Epidyolex *
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 2
July 2019 54 158 2
August 2019 46 174 1
September 2019 58 179 0 1
October 2019 46 173 0 1
Total 490 1,700 0 16
Grand Total 2,206


*Epidyolex was unlicensed prior to September 2019; no NHS prescriptions for Epidyolex have been submitted at the time this data was produced. In addition to the above, approximately 185 patients have accessed Epidyolex through the manufacturer’s (GW Pharma) early access programmes, ahead of a licensing decision by the European Medicines Agency.

The answer was submitted on 23 Jan 2020 at 12:23.