The boy who became the figurehead of medical cannabis policy changes in the United Kingdom is set to receive his first bottle of cannabis-derived medicine on the two-year anniversary of the reforms.
Billy Caldwell, now 15-years-old, suffers from epilepsy and has battled with the National Health Service (NHS) for two years to obtain the oil on a state-funded prescription. The fight included a legal battle in the Northern Irish High Court.
His treatment will be overseen by several physicians and is believed to be the first-of-its-kind in the nation to include THC. Other children approved for medical cannabis use in the UK receive CBD medicines.
His mother, Charlotte, said she received the news last week that a care plan had been drawn up for her approval.
“You can’t imagine how relieved I am to have received this confirmation after all these years of campaigning. I am incredibly grateful to the health authorities in Northern Ireland who have worked with Billy’s treating clinician and prescriber, his GP and the pediatric neurology team at Great Ormond Street Hospital to develop and approve this plan.” – Caldwell to the Telegraph
In July, the NHS indicated plans to manufacture medical cannabis products itself and that it had reviewed a clinical trial design for its potential use as a treatment for epilepsy, according to the Telegraph. In August, the agency announced a trial of the Medipen, a CBD vaporizer.
Last year, the NHS approved cannabis-derived pharmaceuticals Sativex and Epidiolex for use through the service.