Scotland Approves Cannabis Based Medicine for Seizures Caused by Rare Genetic Condition

Scotland Cannabis Medicine - GCI Content Hub - Global Cannabis Intelligence

The Scottish Medicines Consortium approved a cannabis based medicine for use in the country on Monday, The Independent reports.

Epidyolex, containing highly-purified cannabidiol (CBD), is an oral solution which may now be prescribed to sufferers of tuberous sclerosis complex. The treatment can be used on patients as young as two years old.

Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC)

TSC is a rare genetic condition affecting around one in 10,000 people, causing primarily non-cancerous (benign) tumours to grow simultaneously in different parts of the body including the brain, heart and lungs. TSC is a debilitating condition that impacts all aspects of patients’ lives and requires round the clock care.

Cannabidiol can be accessed through the Scottish NHS to treat the seizures which are caused by TSC in roughly 80% of cases, typically in the first year of the patient’s life. In most cases, the condition doesn’t respond to available anti-seizure medications. Because prolonged exposure to these seizures can cause brain damage, the approval of cannabidiol could be a gamechanger for those affected by TSC.

Mark MacGregor, chairman of the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) said in conversation with The Independent that cannabidiol may reduce the number of seizures experienced daily by TSC sufferers, resulting in significant improvements in the quality of life of patients and their carers.

This move by the SMC heeds the calls of cannabis activists all across the UK who are advocating for patient access to cannabis medicines for a plethora of conditions, including severe forms of epilepsy, where clinical evidence suggests cannabis is an effective treatment that reduces and – in some cases – eradicates people’s seizures.

While some cannabis-based medicines are now being made accessible to eligible patients, cannabis remains a Class B drug, rendering its recreational use and sale illegal in the UK.

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