Much Hoole boy's six month lifeline for his vital cannabis medication from Europe

A vulnerable disabled boy who faced running out of vital cannabis based medication has been given a slight reprieve after the Dutch Government agreed to continued access for existing UK patients until July 1.

Friday, 22nd January 2021, 4:54 pm

Ben Griffiths, 11, from Much Hoole, near Preston, was born with a form of cerebral palsy which can trigger multiple epileptic fits.

A Dutch cannabis medicine, costing £2,100 for a monthly private prescription, drastically reduced his fits from up to 300 a day to between none and five.

But in December officials said the arrangement for the medicine, sourced from the Transvaal Pharmacy in the Netherlands through a prescription by UK doctors, would be scrapped as UK prescriptions can no longer be fulfilled by EU pharmacies.

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Ben Griffiths

Ben’s mum, Joanne Griffiths, said: “Sadly we are already taking a product that can’t be changed as it could cause seizures or not work at all.”

The family faced a desperate situation, but on Friday, the Right Hon Minister for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care issued a letter confirming access to the medicines for at least six months.

Katherine Fletcher, MP for South Ribble said: “ This is a hugely important issue for Joanne and Ben and for other families locally and across the UK.

"I’ve been working behind the scenes, speaking privately to Ministers on Ben and Joanne’s behalf and I am absolutely delighted that the pressure I and other colleagues have brought

privately to bear has resulted in the fantastic news that the Dutch Government has agreed to the continued access to these medicines for existing UK patients until 1 July 2021.

"This news will I hope bring enormous relief to Joanne and to Ben and I am hugely grateful to my colleagues in the Department of Health and Social Care and to the Dutch Government

for working together so closely and quickly on this”.

The Department is communicating with clinicians and the supply chain to ensure immediate action to resume supply so no patient faces a break in treatment.

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