CannabizDaily has closely monitored the cannabis industry in the UK and has written about it when the government decided to legally allow medical cannabis for special circumstances. We have also written about why people find the new law problematic.
Now, let’s meet the first patient to get cannabis prescription in the country: Carly Barton.
She is a 32-year-old woman from Brighton who suffers from chronic pain due to fibromyalgia following her stroke when she was just in her 20s. She was prescribed medical cannabis by a private doctor specializing in pain management.
Because the National Health Service is not funding her medical cannabis treatment, Barton will have to shell out £2,500 for three months’ worth of treatment from her own pocket.
Barton decided to speak up in the hopes that if she is able to demonstrate through personal experience how effective medical cannabis is in helping her manage her chronic pain, this would change. She is hoping that this would “open the floodgates” for the UK government to decide to fund medical cannabis treatments, not just for her but for other patients.
In a Facebook video, posted by United Patients Alliance, Barton said that this treatment is going to cost her everything she has.
Quick update on Medical Cannabis Prescription with Carly Barton
Posted by United Patients Alliance on Sunday, December 2, 2018
According to her, this could be a route towards getting an NHS prescription.
If you are asking how three months’ supply of medical cannabis could cost two and a half grand, it is because the drug still needs to be imported from the Netherlands. Barton explained that the high cost of the drug goes mainly to the cost of importing it.
Barton’s cannabis medication consists of two flower-based products and she will have to take a gram of each every day. These products are produced by Dutch company Bedrocan and it only costs about six euros per gram.
Barton is still not sure when she will be able to collect her cannabis medication.
She said that doctors need clearer guidelines on when and how they can prescribe medical cannabis. She also said she is worried that a two-tier system is going to emerge, where patients who cannot afford to pay for medical cannabis treatment will have to buy it illegally.
Barton pointed out that she should not have to pay this much for the treatment.
The medication will last Barton three months and she said that she will be back in the same situation as before. She will be back to being a criminal unless she can convince the NHS specialist to rewrite the prescription.
Barton, a former university lecturer, also described to Sky News last month how she had to go out to obtain the drug from strangers before.
She started using cannabis illegally two years ago. And prior to that, she was taking prescription opioids, particularly morphine and fentanyl. She said the strong opioids made her feel like a zombie.