A PERMANENT solution to the import impasse on children’s epilepsy cannabis medication has emerged with the Dutch manufacturer set to see the medicines made in the UK.
However, the Transvaal Pharmacy, which is based in the Hague, says this will not be in operation for at least a few months meaning a short-term solution still needs to be found.
A spokesperson for the Dutch pharmacy said it understood the UK Government is still working on this and a statement is expected soon – (see end of article for an update on this).
BusinessCann approached The Department Department of Health and Social Care yesterday evening an is awaiting a response.
Parents Fearful For Their Children’s Lives
In late December it emerged that over 40 children with epilepsy in the UK would no longer be able receive their cannabis medicines from Holland.
A combination of Brexit and the need to produce the medicines to the recognised EU-GMP standards meant the previous method of importing the medicines from the Transvaal Pharmacy in the Hague, was terminated.
This left the 40 families facing a bleak 2021 as their children rely on these medicines to manage their seizures.
Hannah Deacon, the mother of nine-year-old Alfie Dingley – who lives with a rare and severe form of epilepsy – told how she fears her son could die.
Last night in an email conversation with BusinessCann the Transvaal Pharmacy explained that it had been in contact with the UK Government in order to secure a solution.
Production Planned For UK
It said: “For the short term solution the UK government will come with a statement. They are still working on it.
“For the long term we are also in contact with the UK government for the possibilities. In about one month we will have a plan.
“We are planning to come over to the UK for a transfer of the production method as a long-term solution.”
Respected UK cannabis clinician Prof Mike Barnes is a Director of the Maple Tree Medical Cannabis Consultancy, along with Ms Deacon, and has written some of the Transvaal scripts.
Government Needs To Get A Move On
He welcomed developments telling BusinessCann: “I am really pleased to hear that a solution is in sight. That is good news, but we still need to hear more from the Government in the short-term and it needs to get a move on, quickly.”
The cannabis medicines used by the UK children are made by the Transvaal pharmacy from cannabis flowers cultivated by fellow Dutch business Bedrocan.
As Prof Barnes explained in BusinessCann yesterday these particular flowers and production processes are bespoke and difficult to replicate.
And, this is why the parents and the children are uncomfortable switching to the alternative products available in the UK.
One company which sells a range of medical cannabis products to treat epilepsy is Grow Pharma. Its CEO Pierre van Weperen said it was pleased to hear a resolution was in sight.
He went on to say that Grow Pharma and its partner IPS Pharma will today produce a product with similar profiles to the Tranvaal product – using the same Bedrocan flowers – and allow the children currently using the Dutch medicines to try it at no cost.
He added: “We feel it is important act on this now, and we are prepared to help these children and their parents immediately.”
NB. On Thursday evening (January 21) The Dutch govt says it will permit the supply of the medicines until July 1, 2021 as an emergency measure for the children.