Giving more kids access to medicinal cannabis

More of Victoria’s sickest kids will now have access to potentially life-changing medicinal cannabis treatment as part of the Victorian Government’s compassionate access scheme.

Victorian Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos announced the scheme would be increased from 60 to 90 places. Ten children with intractable epilepsy will be added to the scheme in 2019, while a further 20 will be able to join in 2020.

Medicinal cannabis can be a life-changing treatment for many children when other medication has failed. The Victorian Government led the way making the treatment available for our sickest kids, forcing the Commonwealth to act – so that now doctors can prescribe medicinal cannabis for anyone who needs it.

The compassionate access scheme uses Canadian pharmaceutical grade cannabidiol, after the Commonwealth followed Victoria’s lead and allowed its import – overturning its own previous ban on the importation of medicinal cannabis.

With an emerging medicinal cannabis market taking hold in Victoria thanks to the Victorian Government’s leadership, Ms Mikakos also announced that the Victorian Government will no longer produce its pioneering cannabidiol product developed from cannabis it has grown.

The 12 kilograms of purified crystallised cannabidiol manufactured by the Government will be provided for use in health and medical research and clinical trials, which are essential for encouraging the Commonwealth to include medicinal cannabis on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, making it affordable for all Australians who need it.

The Department of Health and Human Services will shortly open up an expression of interest for medical researchers to apply to access the cannabidiol.

The compassionate access scheme began with 30 children but was doubled to 60 by the Victorian Government in 2018. Now, 90 children will have a chance to get relief from their condition and live normal, healthy lives.

With a number of global companies already establishing themselves in Victoria generating up to 500 local jobs, the Victorian Government will continue to lead the way in developing a robust medicinal cannabis industry – making Victoria a hub for ground-breaking research and development.

Source: Vic Government