Kids with epilepsy may be prescribed medical marijuana

CHILDREN with severe epilepsy and terminally ill adults may be treated with medical marijuana under a NSW clinical trial.

The NSW Government will fund the $9 million trial of at least three marijuana-derived medicines. The trial will examine the benefits to patients with a number of serious diseases.

The epilepsy trial will be run at the Westmead and Sydney Children's Hospitals and expected to start enrolling patients in 2016.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said patients and parents of ill children were "increasingly desperate" for cannabis-based medication to be used to manage some illnesses.

"This is a bold plan and one that will utilise the expertise of NSW-based clinicians and researchers, and draw on research developments from across the globe," he said.

"Once we have the clinical evidence that medical cannabis can reduce suffering then the government will consider a range of supply measures, including importation.

"But if that does not prove successful then the government will assume responsibility for supply itself."

The Australian Medical Association praised the trials stating previous trials had been based on "flawed research protocols and methodology".


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