A move to ease financial pressure on people facing significant bills for using a Dutch medical cannabis product was warmly welcomed by a patient advocate.
Health Secretary Stephen DonnElly has asked his officials to find a way to ensure that patients are eligible for the Bedroc drug. no longer have to pay in advancea.
Vera Twomey, their daughter Ava Bedroc. has prescribedon, said she and her husband had to pay 9,500 euros every three months, which was refunded within five weeks. It was a financial burden to make sure they had € 9,500 every three months.
“This is the most hopeful news I’ve heard this year,” said the mother of four from Aghabulogue, Co Cork.
She had been campaigning for cannabis-based drug access for Ava, 11, who has Dravet syndrome for some time.
The condition resulted in Ava being hospitalized multiple times with seizures as the disease caused “persistent drug-resistant epilepsy.”
Ava is now receiving ongoing medical prescriptions for Bedrocone who have freed them from the trauma of constant seizures. Bedroca is prescribed to a number of Irish patients.
BedrocHowever, a will not be included in the new medical cannabis access program. A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health said: “Bedrocan products are made in the Netherlands and the commercial export of these oil-based products to pharmacies or wholesalers is prohibited by the Dutch authorities.
“The Dutch authorities will allow individual prescriptions to be collected from the manufacturer’s pharmacy for Irish patients.
“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting travel restrictions, the Ministry of Health has been collecting patient prescriptions from the Netherlands since April 2020 and delivering the products to them at home.
“In December 2020, Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly confirmed that this initiative would last as he did not want patients and their families to travel to collect the products.
“Due to Dutch trade export restrictions, the manufacturers of Bedrocan products cannot apply to the health authorities for these cannabis products to be assessed for inclusion in the medical cannabis access program.
“After the access program has started, patients can continue to access Bedrocan products via the ministerial license route. The minister has asked officials to find a mechanism that would ensure that the state pays the costs for eligible patients in advance. “