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Medical cannabis charity announces extra funding available to support access to “life changing” prescriptions in wake of cost-of-living crisis

From 31st August 2022, UK and Channel Island residents can apply for a grant to fully support medical cannabis prescription from the UK’s only medical cannabis charity, Sapphire Medical Foundation thanks to new funding. Those selected who meet the eligibility criteria to access medical cannabis prescriptions and clinic appointments will be paid for by the Sapphire Medical Foundation for a minimum of one year.

Medical cannabis was legalised for prescription in 2018 across the UK, since then the growth in patient numbers paying privately for treatment has risen exponentially. Eligible patients can seek treatment for conditions including chronic pain, neuropathic pain, generalised anxiety disorder and fibromyalgia. There are estimated to be almost 20,000 patients prescribed the treatment via private clinics, such as Sapphire Medical Clinics.

The cost associated with prescriptions for medical cannabis can be a barrier to what is for some people a life-changing medication. As a result, some patients are faced with the decision between prioritising their health or other necessities – never more so than in the current economic squeeze with the cost-of-living crisis.

Sapphire Medical Foundation’s mission is to reduce the economic barriers of access to medical cannabis. It was founded to relieve financial difficulties that can affect individuals who are unable to afford the costs associated with medical cannabis prescriptions. No other charity in the UK exists with the sole purpose of alleviating the monetary burden that comes with cannabis-based treatment. Thus, the Sapphire Medical Foundation presents the only legitimate option for medical cannabis access for hundreds, if not thousands of individuals. The Foundation recognises that in the current economic climate people will be forced into making difficult decisions between their health and other necessities, so they are glad to be able to report that they are able to open a grant round for the second time this year.

Kirran Gill was the first patient in the UK to receive support from the Sapphire Medical Foundation for rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and anxiety and says that because of treatment, her pain levels have been significantly easier to manage and the severe side effects from using conventional treatment (such as opioids) are less severe. Additionally, her appetite, nausea, anxiety, and overall mood have improved. Access to medical cannabis has greatly impacted her life in a positive way.


Dr Simon Erridge, co-founder and trustee of Sapphire Medical Foundation commented:

“We want to help as many patients as possible and thank those who have made this new funding round possible. We appreciate that now more than ever, people are forced to make difficult decisions between their health and other necessities. We are delighted to invite those who meet our stringent grant making criteria to apply for support to access medical cannabis for a minimum of one year.”


UK and Channel Island grant round  

This grant round opens to UK and Channel Island applicants on the 31st August 2022, closing 12th October 2022. Applications are open to both existing medical cannabis prescription holders, and patients who otherwise meet the grant-making criteria but have not accessed treatment to date.

Applications can be made on our website: https://sapphirefoundation.co.uk/apply-for-help/ All grants are made following a thorough assessment of eligibility and in accordance with our fair and transparent grant making principles to available here: https://www.sapphirefoundation.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Sapphire-Medical-Foundation-Grant-Making-Principles.pdf 

To make a donation, please visit https://sapphirefoundation.co.uk/donations/make-a-donation/

The Sapphire Medical Foundation provides financial assistance to cover the costs of treatment for a minimum of one year for each patient who receives one of the grants.

Image credit: Legally prescribed Cannabis medication capsules in the UK by Stephen Cobb (@chuffed) | Unsplash Photo Community