Lanai and Lindsay Carter can smile at last although they still wait approval for vaporised cannabis for pain, nausea and appetite stimulation.
In an Australian-first, Lanai Carter’s four-year battle to have medicinal cannabis legalised for her son’s use has been won.
The Loganholme mother this morning confirmed to the Albert & Logan News that Queensland Health had cleared the way for her teenage son, Lindsay, to receive a shipment of certified medicinal cannabis.
Mrs Carter said she was “relieved’’ the cannabis oil capsules had been approved to treat her boy’s brain tumour but cautioned the family was still waiting on approval for “vaporised cannabis for pain, nausea and appetite stimulation’’.
“As most people will know this has been an incredibly involved and drawn out process. We are relieved in part that Lindsay can now receive part of the treatment recommended for him,’’ Mrs Carter said.
Earlier this year, the Federal Government ticked off on the Carter’s bid for cannabis treatment and, after a six week wait, Health Minister Cameron Dick said the State Government had also granted approval for cannabis oil capsules.
Mr Dick did not specifically name the Carter family as the recipients, but he confirmed approval for medicinal cannabis oil capsules for “a Logan family’’. Mrs Carter said Queensland Health confirmed Lindsay as the recipient.
“This approval will allow the individual’s doctor to prescribe them with the treatment their family have been seeking for them, and hopefully will lead to a better quality of life,” Mr Dick said.
When treated with the capsules on two previous visits to the United States for treatment, Lindsay’s brain tumour shrank.
Mrs Carter said the State Government now needed to urgently approve Lindsay’s vaporised cannabis treatment.
“We are concerned that the State Health Department is still deliberating over one half of his treatment protocol,’’ she said.
“Without the other component to his treatment, which is vaporised cannabis recommended by his USA doctors, he would continue to suffer with nausea, chronic pain and potentially weight loss from lack of appetite.’’
However, Mr Dick stressed “a further application for use of raw cannabis’’ was being assessed by a clinical expert panel.
Lindsay said: “I am grateful that the State Health Department and Federal Government has finally done something about this.
“I am disappointed about how long it has taken for the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) to process my application which has been 11 months.
“And I am very disappointed that the State Health Department had to create a new process to further delay my treatment as this is unfair for patients.
“I am also very upset that they still have not made a complete decision on the full treatment that my doctors have recommended and what has helped me in the past especially when I know it has helped me so much”
Mrs Carter said Lindsay’s treatment would involve him taking a capsule of cannabis oil capsules orally twice daily.
Mr Dick said while the approval represented the first legal, medically-supervised application of medicinal cannabis in Australia, the approval was specific to the one individual case and did not constitute an open approval for use of medicinal cannabis in Queensland.
“This approval also carries with it strict conditions developed in consultation with an expert panel,” he said.
These conditions include a requirement that only one week’s supply be dispensed at any one time and that monthly reports be provided to Queensland Health by the treatment team about the patient’s response to the medication.
“While the Palaszczuk Government wants to make medicinal cannabis available to the community we also want to do so safely,” Mr Dick said.
“This is a very involved process and we want to make sure we get it right.”