HSE plans to provide medical cannabis to patients in October


The first medical cannabis product to be made available through the HSE will be available to patients next month, it has been confirmed.

The HSE said that CannEpil, a cannabidiol-based drug, will be made available in October as part of its medical cannabis access program.

It comes after the Ministry of Health made cannabis use a part of its health service earlier this year.

It is available to a limited number of patients and can be obtained by a specialist doctor with the correct prescription.

Shaun Flanagan, HSE’s deputy national director of reimbursement services, said one product, CannEpil, will be available in October.

“The suppliers of the second product, Tilray Oral Solutions, have announced their intention to supply the Irish market, but have not yet confirmed when the product will be available,” Flanagan told Oireachtas’ Health Committee.

In Ireland, cannabis is a controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

In January, Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly secured funding for the program and outlined how patients would gain access to medical cannabis through the HSE.

Lorraine Nolan, chief executive of the Health Products Regulatory Authority, said the agency believes the system is up to the recommendations it made in 2017.