THE mother of a Cork girl who has been granted a license to use medicinal cannabis in Ireland has called for legislation to be introduced to make this possible for other people in need of treatment.
Eight-year-old Ava Barry will return to her home in Aghabullogue, Cork before Christmas having spent the last six months in the Netherlands where she could be treated for Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy.
Her treatment with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychotropic cannabinoid, and CBD medicinal cannabis oil was illegal in Ireland until Minister for Health Simon Harris confirmed he had signed off on her application in the Dáil on Tuesday.
“We are ecstatic at the news that Ava can come home but it’s tinged with some sadness for other people out there who are suffering with similar conditions and can’t get the license,” said Ava’s mother, Vera Twomey.
“This has to change because it won’t do.
“It’s a tortuous position to be in and I wouldn’t want to see anybody go through it,” added Ms Twomey, who has called for GPs to be given the power to apply for medicinal cannabis for patients.
“It’s not acceptable that other people can’t get the license,” she said.
“Patients should be able to go to their GPs who can apply for the license on their behalf and these applications need to be fast-tracked because people are suffering.
“It shouldn’t be this long, drawn out and draining process,” she added.
“We had great support from people like Gino Kenny from People Before Profit and Mick Barry and Micháel Martin, who made a great contribution over the past few months and it was Micháel who rang me to tell me we’d gotten the license,” said Ms Twomey.
“But without that support, some people might find it almost impossible to get the license and that’s not right.”