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Governments bicker over who subsidises medicinal cannabis


Patients have been quoted up to $USD 26,000 a year, or about $AUD 93 a day, from an approved importer. PATIENTS wanting legal access to medicinal cannabis have been told they’ll need to fork out tens of thousands of dollars a year for the drug, as the state and federal governments continue to fight over who should subsidise it. The Courier-Mail can reveal patients have been quoted up to $USD 26,000 a year, or about $AUD 93 a day, from an approved importer – leaving them no choice but to continue sourcing medicinal cannabis through illegal channels. And any hope of securing a subsidy from either the Palaszczuk or Turnbull Governments appears to be dashed, with both Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick and Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt suggesting each other should fund it. Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday that just four patients had to date been granted access to medicinal cannabis through the state’s single-prescriber pathway, with a further two patients enrolled in the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital trial. But she said it was hoped the new bulk importation rules introduced by the Turnbull Government would reduce waiting times, currently averaging four months, and bring down costs for patients. Steve Peek, who fears his eight-year-old daughter Suli would die w