May dodges NHS cannabis medicine prescriptions scandal at PMQs

Politics

Theresa May refused to take any responsibility for the scandal around cannabis medicine prescriptions at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

Tonia Antoniazzi, Labour MP for Gower, said the rescheduling of cannabis in November “hasn’t changed anything, not a single new NHS prescription has been issued, causing the parents of children with epilepsy in particular unbearable suffering. It’s evident that someone somewhere is blocking it. Did the government mean to block this life-changing medicine to these children, and if not what will they do about it?”

May effectively insisted that the government had taken all the action that it could by rescheduling cannabis medicine, saying: “The important thing is that decisions are taken on the basis of clinical evidence, and taken by those who are best able to take those decisions, rather than simply being taken by government ministers.

“A process has been put in place to ensure that where there are cases, those cases are looked at, they are looked at very carefully, and decisions are properly taken by the clinicians who are best placed to do so.”

Like almost everything about the theatre of PMQs, May’s response was simply evasion. Nobody is saying that there shouldn’t be proper regulatory procedure or that clinical evidence isn’t important. The point is that the clinical evidence does exist, and in abundance.

Nobody is saying that ministers should be making prescriptions instead of doctors. But what government could do is put a price cap on cannabis medicine so that the NHS can afford to incorporate it into its budgets. Or it could fund the NHS properly in the first place. Or better still it could legalise the right to grow so that patients can grow their own medicine cheaply without fear of being attacked by the police and the courts.

This isn’t down to government ‘inaction’. The action the government has taken is to not to the right thing! And why? Because Theresa May and other Tories like drugs minister Victoria Atkins personally profit from their corruption.

Like on so many issues, May should hang her head in shame.

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