A group of forty children will get primary access to cannabis based treatment for epilepsy in Australia's first clinical trial.
Epidiolex, an orally-ingested formulation of pure cannabidiol which is a non- psychoactive component of marijuana, is to be used on children in New South Wales suffering from the most severe, treatment-resistant epilepsy where all conventional form of treatments have failed.
‘Children suffering from drug-resistant, severe cases of epilepsy to be given respite through cannabis based clinical trials.’
The medicine which the NSW government has secured from the United Kingdom will be distributed through Sydney's Children Hospital. The Therapeutic Goods Administration has authorized specialist paediatric neurologists working in NSW public hospitals to prescribe Epidiolex.
NSW Premier, Mike Baird has said that initially the trial would be limited to the sickest of the sick who are dealing with the most severe cases of epilepsy. Clinicians would contact the eligible families of children and monitor the children receiving the drug for a period of twelve weeks.
The trial would be expanded within the next twelve months. For every three out of ten children, the drug may yield significant benefits, while it may turn out miraculous for one in ten.
This trial holds a promising future for other cannabis based drug trials.