An 11 year old boy is said to be the first person to be given medicinal marijuana on the NHS.
Billy Caldwell, who suffers from up to 100 epileptic seizures a day, has been travelling to the US regularly for medication. Doctors overseas were treating him with cannabis oil to help with the episodes. When he had almost ran out of the medicine, his mum turned to his GP.
Their doctor, Dr Brendan O’Hare prescribed the CBD oil- a derivative of cannabis that doesn’t contain the THC (the illegal bit). However Dr O’Hare said, “This was not to open the floodgates for others, it is a one-off…Whatever the rights and wrongs, we had a child who had benefited and the child’s welfare was paramount. On that basis I issued a prescription.”
Norman Lamb, Lib Dem health spokesman, said on the case, “Don’t think anyone seriously argues against him getting access to treatment that has had such a dramatic impact. There’s lots of evidence, particularly in conditions involving lots of pain, that medical cannabis can be extraordinarily effective.”
Billy’s mum, a campaigner for children to receive the treatment added, “It’s a huge step forward. It’s an alternative treatment and it’s worked out well for Billy.”