Advertisement

Doctors raise concern over 'inappropriate' medicinal cannabis access programme

A group of doctors have warned they will not prescribe the products approved under the medicinal ...
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

16.33 10 Aug 2021


Share this article


Doctors raise concern over 'in...

Doctors raise concern over 'inappropriate' medicinal cannabis access programme

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

16.33 10 Aug 2021


Share this article


A group of doctors have warned they will not prescribe the products approved under the medicinal cannabis access programme.

The group of nine neurologists have written to the Minister for Health warning that the four products currently available under the programme are “inappropriate and potentially harmful.”

Under the scheme, cannabis products can be prescribed for patients who fail to respond to other treatments.

Advertisement

All four of the products currently approved under the scheme contain THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis.

In the letter, the doctors warn that there is not enough evidence to support the use of THC for epilepsy treatment – and significant concerns about potential psychiatric and cognitive effects.

Dr Peter Widdess Walsh, a Consultant Neurologist at Beaumount Hospital, told Newstalk they are particularly concerned about its use in children.

“For example, with the vaccines, we all wanted to know that they went through rigorous trials before everybody started to take them,” he said.

“So, we have had rigorous trials for cannabidiol (CBD), we don’t for THC. We know that it has the potential for side-effects - psychoactive side-effects - and we don’t know fully its effect on children and development.

“With the products that are in the programme at the moment, one might have to use high doses to get up to a therapeutic level and we have concerns about the safety of that and we are not prepared to use them.”

Dr Widdess Walsh noted that none of the approved products contain pure CBD – which has been shown to be relatively safe under clinical supervision.

He insisted none of the products that are currently available are suitable for patients with severe epilepsy.

“We need to have a product in the programme that we can actually use and currently for epilepsy there isn’t one,” he said.

“For the other indications – multiple sclerosis and palliative care – they perhaps can use the products that may be available but the majority of patients that will use the access programme will be epilepsy patients and we don’t currently have a product we feel we can safely use and that is our concern.”

In the letter, the doctors warn that due to the “widespread concern” about the programme among neurologists, it runs the risk of not being used.


Share this article


Read more about

Cannabis Doctors Epilepsy Medicinal Neurologists Weed

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Off The Ball

Off The Ball

13:00-19:00

Share

Up next

TALKING HISTORY WITH PATRICK G...

TALKING HISTORY WITH PATRICK GEOGHEGAN

19:00-20:00

Share

SOUNDSCAPE

SOUNDSCAPE

20:00-21:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

21:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on