Scottish parent in desperate plea for Scottish Government to fund 'life saving' cannabis oil
Lisa Quarrell, 39, son, Cole Thomson, 8, suffers from uncontrollable drug resistant focal epilepsy and relies on a private prescription ‘life saving’ cannabis oil to “thrive.”
Cole was able to secure a private prescription for Bedrolite oils which are imported to the UK by a sole provider in the Netherlands.
But the oils cost Lisa, who works for the Unison health board, and Cole’s father who works offshore, over £1,000 a month.
And this has led Lisa to start a petition to try to further pressure the government into organising a fund so that parents are not left thousands out of pocket when trying to save their children's lives.
At the moment the family has to turn to fundraising attempts and the generosity of strangers to be able to afford the payments as the government has continuously refused to put their hands in their pockets.
However the current pandemic has severely curtailed the family’s ability to raise money and they are once again left to plead to the government.
Lisa said: “I have said from the start that it should not be this difficult to keep my son alive.
“Cole had brain surgery when he was two and has tried 20 medications since he was three months old. He was given a prescription for Epidiolex, the UK only licensed CBD product but his health continued to decline. I now have a private prescription for Cole for a Bedrolite oil which is whole plant oil and he is the best he’s ever been. Cole almost died in March and thanks to this oil he’s thriving.
“For me the government is all about independence and what they can do without the UK. But when it comes to NHS Scotland and their own medicines consortium, they are not using any powers that they already have to set up a fund for families like ours.
“I took Cole to meet Jeane Freeman in July 2019 and asked her to watch a video on my phone. I said this is what I have to look at 20 times a night cause my baby was dying without access to these oils. I need you to help me get it through a funded prescription. But she refused to watch the video.”
Lisa pointed to patients in England and Northern Ireland who have fully funded prescriptions on the NHS and has asked why it is appropriate for her son to miss out when solutions have been found elsewhere in the UK.
A Scottish government spokesperson said: “These are undoubtedly extremely difficult cases, which are distressing for patients and their families. However, it would be inappropriate for ministers to intervene in decisions on the treatment or funding for individual patients, for which we must trust clinicians and the NHS.
“It is solely a decision for the patient, or the patient’s carer, whether or not to seek private treatment. Where they do so, they are responsible for paying any costs incurred. Our health system, the NHS, is a publicly funded service and it would not be appropriate to redirect that public funding from the health service in Scotland to private care.”
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