Pharmac's bid to fund a cannabis medication for multiple sclerosis has been declined by its advisory committee, in part because it says the risk of inappropriate use is too high.
Pharmac has been seeking clinical advice from its Pharmacology Therapeutics Advisory Committee on funding oromucosal spray Sativex. The spray is a cannabis-extract treatment used for various indications, including spasticity due to multiple sclerosis.
Mexico’s Supreme Court made a monumental decision today that could lay the groundwork for a legalisation movement with some serious traction. The vote by the Supreme Court’s criminal chamber ruled that it is unconstitutional to prohibit individuals from growing and distributing cannabis for personal use.
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O'Connor is drafting a private member's bill to allow the medicinal use of cannabis.
He says high profile cases such as terminally ill trade union leader Helen Kelly, who is using cannabis oil for pain relief because it does not make her sick like morphine, have helped changed public attitudes.
Herbal remedy maker Blackmores has defended its move into the medicinal cannabis market after the NSW government excluded it from a lucrative clinical trial and implied that it was producing low-quality "street marijuana."
As the idea of medicinal cannabis gains broader acceptance here and overseas, the tiff highlights a bigger political and medical split between those who want access limited to high-priced patented cannabis compounds available by prescription and those who want a less rigorous regime similar to complementary medicines.