UPDATE ON SUCCESSFUL APPG MEETING AND DROP-IN SESSION
On July 19th, End Our Pain had an incredibly productive day in our fight for better access to medical cannabis. Our All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Medical Cannabis Under Prescription convened for its second meeting, where Tonia Antoniazzi MP was appointed Co-Chair of the APPG alongside Sir Mike Penning MP. They were joined by Vice-Chairs Ronnie Cowan MP, Jim Shannon MP and Baroness Walmsley, along with Hannah Deacon, the mother of Alfie Dingley, and Professor Mike Barnes. We had a constructive discussion about how best to continue our work over recess and beyond and ensure that we continue to make progress in our fight for access to medical cannabis for all who need it. We also discussed key challenges that are being faced, such as a lack of information for patients wanting to apply to the newly set up panel, concerns around the expectation that applicants must have either travelled abroad or tried every alternative to receive the application, and the financial barriers created by the cost of the prescription and the issue of who will cover that cost. We committed to making a detailed comprehensive and detailed Q&A guide to help families, their doctors and their MPs to help navigate the new application process.
Following the APPG meeting, we hosted a drop-in session for MPs, where Hannah and Mike were able to share their experience with the application process and offer advice and insight to MPS and their staff who came in support of their constituents. This discussion only emphasized the lack of clarity in the new application process and drove home for us the need for a comprehensive guide as so many families struggle to navigate this process and fight for access.
Finally, we concluded the day with a Facebook Live event where Hannah and Mike were able to answer questions for our supporters, where over 100 questions were asked.
We want to thank all our supporters who participated in our FB Live event and the MPs who attended the drop-in session on behalf of their constituents. Despite the challenges highlighted in our discussions yesterday, your support, questions and insight have only made us more determined and engaged in the fight for access to prescribed medical cannabis.