Sapphire Medical Foundation has announced its first patient has secured medicine funding for one year.
Two years following the rescheduling of cannabis-based medicinal products in the UK, Sapphire Medical Foundation has announced its first patient has successfully proceeded through the grant making processes and has seen a clinical specialist who has confirmed eligibility for treatment with cannabis-based medicines.
Sapphire Medical Foundation will fund the treatment for at least one year. The Foundation is the first of its kind and was set up to reduce the financial barriers of access to medical cannabis where clinically appropriate for those who are unable to afford potentially life-changing treatment.
Securing medical cannabis in the UK
The majority of UK medical cannabis patients receive prescriptions through the private sector and with limited access on the NHS, many prospective patients are unable to afford the prohibitive costs associated with a prescription.
38-year-old Kirran, who suffers with debilitating chronic pain due to fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, has been selected to have her treatment funded following application through the first grant round.
As a trained teacher, Kirran’s condition has left her unable to work and she has experienced a functional decline due to her symptoms which sometimes causes problems with tasks as basic as washing her hair or doing the housework.
Kirran said: “My pain stops me doing the career I love. I love teaching and being in the classroom, for me there is nothing more rewarding and satisfying. The foundation grant is a beacon of hope for me in amidst the darkness. It represents the hope that I won’t always have to live my life like this, that one day I may be able to return to teaching, regain a social life, and be able to live my life instead of feeling my life is passing me by.”
Dr Simon Erridge, Co-Founder and Trustee of Sapphire Medical Foundation commented: “We are delighted to be supporting Kirran. She has gone through all conventional therapy to try to ease her pain with no success. It is a real pleasure to help give this opportunity to any individual so severely affected by their health condition. However, the real shame is that we can’t help more individuals. With the volume of applications in our first grant round, we know we need to continue fundraising to support these patients in need”
Sapphire Medical Foundation: help with access to medical cannabis
Sapphire Medical Foundation has also announced the appointment of Baroness Molly Meacher as Chair of Trustees.
As a Crossbench life peer and former Health Trust Chair, Baroness Meacher has dedicated her career to improving health and social care. She said: “I am delighted to be the Chair of Trustee of the Sapphire Medical Foundation. I know that medical cannabis can be of great benefit for patients with a range of conditions. However, medical cannabis remains exorbitantly costly and difficult to access. I believe the Foundation can make a real difference for suffering patients.”
Trustee of the Foundation and England Rugby player George Kruis commented: “Sapphire Medical Foundation gives hope to patients who may benefit from cannabis-based medicines but are unable to afford the current cost of treatment. With further fundraising, we will help many more patients and I am glad to be a part of it.”