A mother from England was forced to put her home up for sale after spending her family’s savings on pricey medical cannabis prescriptions for her child.
Elaine Levy, whose daughter suffers from Lennox–Gastaut syndrome, said she had to make the decision to sell the house after spending over £30,000 (nearly $37,000) to provide her daughter’s care. Levy said that while using cannabis oil, her daughter didn’t need a wheelchair, and she claims her daughter’s IQ has even increased.
“We just can’t do it anymore,” Levy told The Guardian. “It’s been a year and three months but we’ve got less than a month’s medicine left and we’re now at the end of the road. Why am I having to beg when it was made legal last November?”
Doctors in the U.K. have been allowed to prescribe cannabis-based medicines since November of last year, spurred by cases involving children who were denied access to cannabis oil to treat epileptic seizures. The country received its first medical cannabis shipment earlier this year from the Netherlands. The National Health Service has yet to issue any prescriptions for cannabis oil, but the medicines are available privately but can cost up to £4,000 a month.
A watchdog ruled last month that there isn’t enough evidence proving that medical cannabis oil can effectively help those with severe epilepsy, a decision by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) that was met with disdain by campaigners and parents who say their children will suffer without their medicine. Last week, nine families invoiced the Department of Health and Social Care £231,000 they said they’ve spent on prescriptions. They also hand delivered letters to the prime minister urging for change, including one letter signed by more than 100 Members of Parliament (MPs).