Sapphire Medical Clinic Funds Treatment for First Medical Cannabis Patient for One Year
Sapphire Medical Clinics, one of the few medical cannabis clinics in the UK, has guaranteed the treatment of its first patient for one year.
The patient, Kirran, 38, who lives with chronic pain due to fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, will have her cannabis-based medicines paid for by Sapphire Clinics as part of its grant scheme.
The first patient
Nearly two years on from the legalization of medical cannabis in the UK, prescriptions remain scarce on the country’s National Health Service.
As a result, many patients rely on private cannabis clinics, which can charge £700 (US $900) for monthly prescriptions.
To provide financial support to prospective patients living on modest means, Sapphire Medical Clinics launched the Sapphire Medical Foundation charity at the start of the year. And following an assessment from a clinical specialist, Kirran, a trained teacher, has become the foundation’s first recipient.
“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,” she said in a statement.
“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.”
Commenting on Kirran’s grant, Dr Simon Erridge, a co-founder of the Sapphire Medical Foundation, said, “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,” he said in statement.
Beyond its fundraising work, Sapphire Medical Clinics has launched a couple of initiatives to encourage prescriptions of cannabis when needed.
Back in June, the clinic premiered the UK Medical Cannabis Registry, which aims to collect and analyze clinical information from patients taking medical cannabis treatments in the UK for all recognized eligible conditions. A week later, the clinic launched its online educational platform for healthcare professionals and patients.