Dunne approves medicinal cannabis for teen in coma

Just breaking –

Assoc Health Minister Peter Dunne has approved cannabidiol (medicinal cannabis) for Alex Renton

Good news for Alex and his family.

Minister approves one-off use of Cannabidiol product

Hon Peter Dunne
Associate Minister of Health

9 June 2015

Minister approves one-off use of Cannabidiol product ‘Elixinol’

Associate Minister of Health Hon Peter Dunne has today approved on compassionate grounds the one-off use of Elixinol, a cannabidiol (CBD) product from the United States to be administered by clinicians treating Wellington patient Alex Renton.

The Minister said that “despite the absence of clinical evidence supporting the efficacy of CBD in patients with Mr Renton’s condition status epilepticus, my decision relies on the dire circumstances and extreme severity of Mr Renton’s individual case”.

“I have considerable sympathy for the family of Mr Renton who face an incredibly difficult situation. Understandably they want to do the best for their son, and they believe that this option is worth trying.

“I have also considered the absence of any other treatment options, the low risk of significant adverse effects, and the conclusion reached by the hospital ethics committee from an individual patient perspective.

“Ministerial approval in this case does not extend beyond Mr Renton’s application and should in no way be construed as setting a wider precedent,” he said.

Mr Dunne said the advice he has received was that there remains a lack of clinical evidence supporting the use of CBD products in sufferers of Mr Renton’s condition.

“The fact that Elixinol does not have a supporting pharmaceutical testing regime means this application has been reviewed as a stand-alone case and weighed against the severity of his condition.

“My officials will be closely following the outcome of studies overseas, including those due to commence next year in Australia, on the efficacy of different products. Those results will help to inform future legislative and regulatory considerations here in New Zealand.

“I am satisfied with the way the DHB and the Ministry have handled this matter. After exhausting all recommended and standard treatment options, CCDHB made a clinical decision last week to complete the necessary documentation to apply for approval to use a non-standard medicinal cannabidiol treatment for Mr Renton. That application was lodged with the Ministry yesterday afternoon. Ministry officials considered the application as a matter of priority and briefed me this morning.

“I hope for a positive outcome for Mr Renton and his family,” Mr Dunne said.

5 Comments

  1. gunangler

     /  9th June 2015

    I am so mad with the press handling of this matter. Knowing that Peter Dunne could not approve this until the doctors asked for it and as of the weekend they had not asked for it but the media continued to lay the blame on the minister. …… and as he has said in his press release they made the application to him this morning.

    • Yes, there’s been some poor reporting on it.

      • luci

         /  9th June 2015

        How does anyone have the right to decide if a plant can be used to help or potentially cure an individual or not (without real data)- and who has the right to determine if that plant is illegal. Get real everyone – why cant I grow cannabis in my garden but the government allows people with cancer to be injected with toxic substances that will kill them ??? anyone ??? Stop it now – we have been lied to for too long. Live long all you good people
        Oh and to post this I have had to tell the administrators who I am – Freedom – I don’t think so. But Im rural and ive got lots of friends!!!!!

  2. It still seems that they are treating Med-use, in the same light as Recreational use (hysteria, over emotive, misinformation).
    The other strange thing, Cannabis (aka marijuana) is a Class C drug & Morphine (Heroin) is Class A.. so why is it that they have stricter controls over the one that is supposedly the least harmful ? ie Doctors need to seek permission from the minister on a case by case basis for cannabis, but can widely prescribe morphine as they see fit, without any such NONSENSE ! 😦

    CRAZY MAN !!!

  3. Stop Press: I just saw a picture of this ‘DRUG (Elixinol) requiring highest ministerial approval’. In USA it can be purchased over the counter without a prescription & is listed as a DIETARY SUPPLEMENT. Hemp Oil (18% CBD, not THC)

    This is NOT ‘Marijuana’ people
    Dunne needs to hang his head in shame for suggesting it is, so dangerous that he personally had to approve it (B-S) Just shows how backward NZ is becoming on this.

    Talk about FEAR-mongering & nonsense propaganda ! 😦 😦