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Medicinal cannabis to be trialled on children with drug resistant epilepsy in Queensland

Medicinal cannabis for children with severe epilepsy. THIRTY Queensland children with drug resistant epilepsy will have access to a medicinal cannabis product under a compassionate access scheme. Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick today called on the parents of children with uncontrolled seizures to contact 13 HEALTH to express an interest in taking part in the scheme. Mr Dick said the Palaszczuk Government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UK-based pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals that would allow up to 30 Queensland children to access the medicinal cannabis product, Epidiolex. Epidiolex is a liquid form of the cannabis-derived product, cannabidiol. The minister said the number of children able to access the medicine was restricted by the limited amount of product that could be obtained at this time. GW Pharmaceuticals board of directors chairman Dr Geoffrey Guy said GW Pharmaceuticals had been working on the scientific application of cannabinoids for almost two decades. He said Epidiolex had shown positive results in a compassionate-use scheme in the United States. Epidiolex is being investigated overseas as a treatment for two rare childhood epilepsy syndromes, Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut. Mr Dick said the Palaszczuk Government had committed $6 million over three years to medicinal cannabis trials. He said a new agreement between the Palaszczuk Government and GW Pharmaceuticals would facilitate a new research program for cannabis-based medicines for children with treatment-resistant epilepsy.

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