On Saturday, April 6, authorities at the London Southend Airport confiscated £4,500 ($5867) worth of cannabis oil that Emma Appleby was bringing back from Holland for her epileptic nine-year-old daughter, Teagen.
Teagan was born with a genetic condition called Isodicentric 15, and Lennox Gastaut Syndrome which can cause her to have up to 300 seizures a day.
“Our children are suffering every day, some of them have been in hospital for weeks on end because they can’t control their seizures,” Appleby told talkRADIO. “I got this medication prescribed by a proper doctor, I got it from a proper pharmacy, and I brought it back into the UK. I shouldn’t have to be doing that when the medication is legal in this country.”
On Monday, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock told the House of Commons that Teagan’s three-month supply of cannabis oil had not been destroyed yet and that there was a possibility that it would be returned.
He said that usually, controlled drugs cannot be imported without a UK doctor’s approval, but an exception had been made in Teagan’s case to get a second opinion.
“There are already prescriptions written in the UK for products the family tried to bring into the country,” said Hancock. “Over 80 children have already been supplied with CBD (cannabidiol) products in the UK on the Basis of a specialist doctor’s prescription.”
Former minister Sir Mike Penning said that doctors have written prescriptions, but NHS trusts are refusing to honor them. He called the situation a disgrace to the country that everyone should be ashamed of.
After meeting with parents and listening to their stories, Hancock says that he has asked NHS England to “rapidly initiate a process evaluation to address barriers to clinically appropriate prescribing.”