Kids with severe epilepsy to get fast-tracked medical cannabis

Young girl in hospital in Victoria, AustraliaLast year, Victoria became the first jurisdiction to legalise access to medical cannabis. Now a group of the most critically ill children with epilepsy will receive early access to the product before locally grown and manufactured product becomes available.

“This is the first time in Victoria kids with severe epilepsy will be able to legally access medicinal cannabis,” said Premier Daniel Andrews.

Twenty-nine children will be the first to legally access the product. Paediatric neurologists nominated children with the most severe symptoms for early access to the scheme. Children who suffer multiple seizures and who have endured many hospital admissions and are unable to participate in normal childhood activities were identified by a clinical panel as suitable patients for the product.

Children to receive the first batch met strict criteria set by the Independent Medical Advisory Committee on Medicinal Cannabis.

“We know this medicine can dramatically change the quality of life for some of Victoria’s very sick kids,” said Minister for Health Jill Hennessy.

“This means families will no longer have to make the heart-breaking choice between breaking the law or watching their kids suffer,” she said.

Other children with severe epilepsy will be eligible to access locally grown and manufactured product when it comes available in coming months.

This page was last updated on March 02, 2017