I read that the NZ Govt. pharmaceutical funding body (‘Pharmac’) has shut down the application to fund ‘Sativex’, the only currently approved cannabis drug in Aotearoa/NZ. Whilst Sativex requires the highest level of approval (ministerial) before it can be prescribed.. there are some patients who are currently receiving it for treatment of Epilepsy & M-S etc.
According to the information, there are two main ‘reasons’ why the application to fund was denied:
“The committee considered that the risk of diversion in the New Zealand setting, should Sativex be funded, is high due to the inherent nature of its active substances and the ease of administration.”
** sounds like they think it will be sold onto the ‘black-market’ (B-S)
“Overall, the committee considered that there was some evidence to support the use of Sativex for spasticity due to multiple sclerosis compared with placebo, but that the strength of this evidence was weak and the quality was poor.”
** sounds like they think, all current prescriptions in NZ, are no more effective than taking a placebo ! (B-S)
Sativex currently costs approved patients over $1000/month. Under ‘pharmac funding’ most drugs cost $5/script
To me it just sounds like ‘excuses, excuses’ to further put the brakes on, wider access to cannabis drugs in NZ 😦
One step forward.. one step back ! SHAME on THEM !!