Medical cannabis product approved for use

  • Peter Dunne

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has today approved the use of a non-pharmaceutical grade cannabis-based product, following an application from the patient’s treating consultant.

The product applied for, Aceso Calm Spray, has been chosen for its low THC content to treat a severe case of Tourette’s Syndrome. While Sativex has previously been shown to be efficacious in treating the condition, the Aceso product has been chosen due to its reduced psychoactive side effects.

While a review of the guidelines for approving such products is currently underway, the application met seven of the eight existing guideline criteria, providing a good level of information about the product, its efficacy and why it was being applied for.

“The application was comprehensive, innovative and considered. The Director of Mental Health and the acting Director of Public Health recommended its approval.

Although it has been suggested that the information requirements for applications are too stringent, an aspect I expect the current guidelines review will look into, the application I received today suggests that they are not an impediment to robust, clinician-led, assessment-based approaches”, Mr Dunne said.

The application is the third to have been received for prescribing cannabis-based non-pharmaceutical grade products, with one application subsequently withdrawn and the other two approved. Information on the application process can be found on the Ministry of Health’s website under medicinal cannabis.