UK opens first Medical Cannabis clinic
Specialist clinic will open in Greater Manchester area
The UK has opened its first specialist medical cannabis clinic in Cheadle. The launch of The Beeches follows a government announcement that specialist doctors could prescribe products containing cannabis to patients for medicinal use as from November 2019. Patients will pay about £200 to be seen by a doctor and then circa £600 a month for a private prescription.
The clinic was founded by Professor Mike Barnes, who is well known for helping secure the first medicinal cannabis licence for epilepsy sufferer Alfie Dingley. Professor Barnes will also take on the role of clinical director.
Prof Barnes said: “Patients suffering from chronic pain and other serious neurological or psychiatric conditions have been crying out for this kind of life-changing treatment.
“This clinic will represent a lifeline to those who have found other treatments ineffective. This also brings the UK into line with other countries when it comes to pain management.
“The hope is that over time patients all around the country and not just in Manchester will have access to the relief that they need.”
Prescriptions will need to be made on a case-by-case basis and only in situations where the patient’s needs are specific and cannot be met by licensed products.
Dr David McDowell, an independent pain specialist who will run The Beeches, has prescribed medicinal cannabis to Open University student Forzana Nasir, 32, from south London.
Ms Nasir suffers from the genetic condition Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which leaves her in severe pain and suffering from nausea and vomiting.
Since using medical cannabis she has gone from taking 13 different medications a day to three, said the clinic.
Ms Nasir said: “Having access to this medicine allows me to ease my chronic pain which turns an unbearable day into a manageable day. It has been life-changing for me. I was almost bedbound before this and now I have much greater quality of life.
“It is so important that other patients in the UK who are suffering can have the same opportunity. This clinic opening is a significant step forward for healthcare in this country.”
Mar 20, 2019
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