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Teagan Appleby’s fight for cannabis prescription continues

A mother who spends about £2,000 each month on medicinal cannabis for her daughter is among a group of families calling for the NHS to supply the drug.

Emma Appleby said a specialist doctor has written a private prescription for 12-year-old daughter Teagan, who has severe epilepsy.

Teagan was taken to intensive care when the family could not raise enough money to pay for her medication.

“We didn’t know if she was going to come home,” her mother said.

Teagan has a rare chromosomal disorder called Isodicentric 15, as well as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which can cause her to experience up to 300 seizures a day.

Doctors have been able to issue prescriptions for medicinal cannabis since 2018, but Teagan had not received one, meaning that her family have had to fund her treatment.

A group of families has handed in a petition to Downing Street, which organizers said contained more than 600,000 signatures.

They are calling for an emergency compassionate fund for patients like Teagan.


Mrs Appleby, from Aylesham in Kent, said: “Last year during the first lockdown we ran out of oil and we ran out of money. Within two weeks she was back in intensive care, fighting for her life.

“We didn’t know if she was going to come home she was that poorly.

She said: “Patients are still facing an almost total block on NHS access.

“Instead, dozens of families have been forced to pay privately for the medicine that has proved life-transforming in its ability to drastically reduce seizure rates and deliver… improvements for their children.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “The government has already changed the law to allow specialist doctors to prescribe cannabis-based products, where clinically appropriate and in the best interests of patients.

“Licensed cannabis-based medicines are funded by the NHS where there is clear evidence of their quality, safety and effectiveness.”

Mrs Appleby said Teagan proved that cannabis oil worked.

“In the last three years she’s been in hospital once, and that was when the oil ran out.”

She said: “I’m gutted we’re still in this position and we’re still having to fight.”


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