Cannabis to be legally prescribed at Aberdeen clinic in national first
Cannabis is to be legally prescribed in Scotland at a clinic in Aberdeen.
The unit aims to provide medicinal cannabis for “all conditions acknowledged to benefit from it”.
Medical cannabis was legalised in 2018 across the UK but it has been limited, making access to it on the NHS difficult.
The Sapphire Medical Clinic will offer cannabis flowers, oil and gel to patients referred by GPs.
Managing director Dr Mikael Sodergren said it had already been seen first-hand how medical cannabis was “transforming lives”.
He said: “It means patients in Scotland will now have access to world-class experts in managing their condition, who also have expertise in medical cannabis.
“Medical cannabis is an exciting and rapidly developing field of medicine that could transform the lives of patients living with certain conditions.
“But prescription numbers have been low, held down by patients who are often in significant pain or with physical disabilities, being unable to travel the long distances to clinics.”
NHS Grampian said in a statement: “There is currently a route of access via the NHS for medicinal cannabis products.
“This is restricted to conditions where there is evidence of benefit or accepted UK guidelines for use. Currently, in Scotland, this only includes complex intractable epilepsy or nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy treatment.
“It is concerning that this private clinic operates on the mechanism of GP referrals, given the treatments used in the clinic would not be available nor recognised by the NHS. There is the risk of significant GP time being utilised to provide clients access to this private healthcare.”