NEWS — 10 July 2014

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Ireland’s Junior Health Minister has confirmed that he will sign off on medicinal marijuana products to be used by sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis.

Alex White said the legislation may be delayed until early next week, but is hopeful that it will be signed off tomorrow.

The proposal is for cannabis to be made available on prescription and for GPs would write up a note for pharmacists who could then sell the product to MS sufferers.

It is line with a number of other European countries who have made the move after scientific studies have proved that cannabis is very helpful for the muscle spasms that MS patients suffer from.

On Monday, the CEO of Health Products Regulatory Authority Pat O’Mahony spoke on RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke to confirm that the Department of Health was working on the legislation.

He described the move as an important step forward, and said: “This has been proposed now for about four years.

“This product is prescribed and dispensed for people with Multiple Sclerosis and it is very, very helpful for that cohort of patients for the muscle spasms that they suffer, which are a big complication of that condition.

“We finished our assessment some time ago, but unfortunately there was an appeal to the High Court around that legislation related to products available to the head shops a few years ago.

“That High Court appeal was resolved very recently and now my understanding is that policy makers in the Department of Health are about to issue a revision to the legislation that will make the product available in the marketplace.”

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