Belfast Telegraph

New fears on Billy Caldwell's right to cannabis

By Sam Blewett

Thousands of patients are being denied prescriptions for cannabis despite the law change because of "botched and cruel" medical guidance, MPs have said.

Conservative former minister Sir Mike Penning was among those to say the material being relied on by the NHS is shutting down the fresh law.

Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley, two severely epileptic boys whose conditions helped change the laws, would not be able to get renewed access to their medication under the guidelines, their families say.

Sir Mike hit out at the Royal College of Physicians and British Paediatric Neurology Association guidance as "crushing the hopes of many thousands of patients".

"We are now in the quite frankly cruel and ludicrous position of families with severely epileptic children once again having to fundraise to go abroad to get access to a medicine that we have just legalised in the UK," he said.

Labour's Tonia Antoniazzi, who co-chairs the all-party parliamentary group on medicinal cannabis with Sir Mike, said she was "outraged and dumbfounded in equal measure" by the restrictions, introduced on Wednesday.

Tyrone mum Charlotte Caldwell, whose 13-year-old son Billy is being treated with cannabis oil, has said he would not be able to get a repeat prescription.

Belfast Telegraph

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