The British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA) has been asked by NHS England, and on behalf of the devolved nations, to develop interim clinical guidance for clinicians in the use and prescription of cannabis-based products for medicinal use in children and young people with epilepsy. This interim guidance is a prelude to formal guidance being issued by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) in or around October 2019. This guidance is supported by the Association of British Neurologists and the British Chapter of the International League Against Epilepsy.
The BPNA is very sympathetic to the needs of children with epilepsy and their families. Our members are devoted to improving the lives of children with epileptic seizures. We are keen to investigate the therapeutic potential of pharmaceutical grade cannabis related products in robust scientific treatment trials and to support the use of scientifically tested and proven treatments in appropriate clinical circumstances. We encourage all families who have children with complex epilepsies to consult with their paediatric neurologist to explore the many treatment options that exist and to make informed decisions about the pros and cons of different treatments.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has a call for proposals for primary clinical research to evaluate the safety and efficacy or clinical effectiveness of cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans. Deadline 31 July 2019.
In July 2018, the BPNA produced a statement on the use of marijuana (cannabis) related products in the treatment of complex epilepsies, in response to media attention: BPNA statement, 4 July 2018