Medical cannabis firm 'saves toddler's life' with free treatment

Jorja Emerson

Jorja Emerson suffers from up to 40 seizures a day.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

A medical cannabis company has “saved” the life of a severely epileptic girl by giving her free access to treatment not provided by the NHS, her father claims.

Three-year-old Jorja Emerson was one of the first children in the UK to be prescribed medical cannabis after Sajid Javid relaxed regulations.

Medical cannabis can only be issued on a private prescription however, leaving families with sometimes prohibitively expensive costs.

Jorja’s father Robin said: "Until this is sorted, families will have to continue travelling abroad to obtain medicine for their children illegally, or like me, go private to get help for our children.”

Mr Emerson said Jorja's care has cost around £30,000 since she was diagnosed with the severe epilepsy in 2017, with family, friends and well-wishers helping to pay her medical bills.

With the family struggling to meet the £1000 per month costs to obtain the treatment, Canadian medical cannabis producer Aphria has agreed to provide Jorja with treatment free of charge.

"Aphria have done what the NHS should have done and put Jorja first,” Mr Emerson said.

"The team in Canada are full of emotion knowing that they have saved my daughter's life."

According to NHS England guidelines, medical cannabis prescriptions are limited to specialists “due to the limited evidence base” of their effectiveness.

Despite individual evidence, cannabis products  have not yet been fully tested in randomised controlled long-term trials.

 

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