Chronic Pain Treated With Cannabis In Australia

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Chronic pain treated with cannabis in Australia

Although they constitute around 60% to 70% of the client base for the medical use of Australia Cannabis Market, chronic pain patients in Australia still face a variety of access barriers, ranging from issues aroundCost to the continuous reluctance of many doctors to prescribe cannabis as a medicine.

Painustralia is the National Defense Agency that works to improve the quality of life of people suffering from pain, their families and caregivers, and to minimize the social and economic burden of pain. Painustralia represents the interests of a wide membership that includes health, medical, research and consumer organizations. Our work and mission are based on some key documents, including the national strategy against pain and the National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management .

Established in 2011, our approach is to work with governments, consumer organizations and health professionals, financiers, educational and research institutions, to facilitate the implementation throughout Australia of the National Pain Strategy and the National Strategic Action Plan for thePain management, which is a model for the treatment and management of acute, chronic and oncological pain. Australia was the first country in the world to develop a national pain framework and generated interest throughout the world, particularly in the United States, Canada and Europe

Benefits offered by medicinal cannabis in the treatment of chronic pain

Most people looking for medicinal cannabis do so to control pain;And there is a growing interest and expectation about the use of these products to treat a variety of conditions. Until now, there is little evidence on adequate doses of individual cannabis products, such as random controlled tests or systematic reviews, which could allow definitive statements about the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis. This lack of evidence hinders doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis, despite community expectations that these products will be available to treat chronic pain.

With chronic pain, there is a primary need to expand the availability of safe and effective treatments;since current treatments are not adequate. Studies conducted to date have not yet systematically addressed this issue in a large population of people who take medicinal cannabis for chronic pain. Despite the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis in some places in Australia and abroad, there has only been a limited number of well -designed clinical studies on medical cannabis and its function in the treatment of chronic pain.

We know more about the role of cannabis products in the treatment of neuropathic pain than on other forms of pain. Neuropathic or nervous pain is difficult to treat and can be weakening. It can be caused by damage, injury or nerve dysfunction due to trauma, surgery, disease or chemotherapy. Neuropathic pain can be the main symptom of an independent disease, such as multiple sclerosis or complex regional pain syndrome;or may be associated with other conditions or forms of pain. It is possible that medicinal cannabis has a niche role, waiting for more investigations, in the treatment of complex chronic pain with anguish, especially in the case of neuropathic pain.

The strongest scientific evidence in favor of medical cannabis is related to its effectiveness in the treatment of child epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut (LGS) syndrome, which generally do not respond to anticonvulsive medications. Painustralia points out that these indications are the only ones that the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) is considering for the possible inclusion of the CBD in the pharmaceutical benefits scheme .

Cannabis consumption, in particular its main psychoactive component, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is associated with health risks that include lung disease (when smokeing), cardiovascular disease, acute pancreatitis and cannabinoid hyperemes syndrome. Cannabis consumers also run a higher risk of professional injuries;and the ‘drugged driving’ associated with cannabis, which can be deadly. Finally, the myth that medical cannabis is not addictive has been dissipated by studies on the abrupt and forced cessation of use that indicate a possible bounce and craving hyperalgesia.

The potential for drug-symptoms of medical cannabis with other common use medications is high. It is important to note that the medication alone is not useful for the treatment of chronic pain and patients should adopt other strategies. All medications, including medicinal cannabis, have side effects and many can be harmful if used in the long term. We need to monitor the impacts of the changes in any programming that considers the social costs of excessive use of medicines and a change of lifestyle and holistic interventions on pharmaceutical interventions. In short, we must weigh the costs with the benefits.

There is little evidence about the appropriate doses of individual cannabis products such as CBD, such as random controlled tests or systematic reviews, to allow definitive statements about the effectiveness of medical cannabis for pain management. This lack of evidence makes it difficult for doctors to prescribe, despite community expectations that these products will be available to treat chronic pain.

There are still several access problems, with low acceptance rates both by the general doctors and hospitals and multidisciplinary pain services, which leaves a great unsatisfied demand in the population group with chronic pain. This has made the sector vulnerable and open to exploitation through ‘access clinics’, which generally have the support of the pharmaceutical industry and, therefore, expose consumers to a greater risk of a single modalityAttention, as well as high pocket costs.

Pain specialists have reported that they have encountered many barriers to obtain the necessary license to become an ‘authorized prescriber’. Even the professionals of the great hospitals that have submitted requests with the support of the Ethics Committees have been denied access, since the requirements include listing all the products they wanted to use, which is a difficult task since the productsThey change constantly. Therefore, professionals are forced to depend on the requests of a single person at a time, with a continuous audit and research program: an additional access barrier.

There are also many questions about the effect of medical cannabis in the legal requirements to drive in Australia. It is illegal to drive with THC in the system, however, THC traces can be found in CBD products (if they are of plant origin);And because it is fat soluble and the body stores it, the THC can accumulate to detectable levels (and potentially harmful levels) with the regular use of CBD. There is the possibility that road tests are positive false and high sensitivity blood tests are positive.

Consumers also expect all free sales medications (OTC) to be regulated to maintain coherence. Consumers can ignore the small amounts of THC that can remain in CBD concentrates derived from plants, or the safety of people who consume CBD in high doses.

The opinion of consumers is maintained that allowing access to medicinal cannabis will make it more accessible to those who can benefit from it. This applies to those in regional areas that may not have an option of doctors or specialists who are up to date with medical cannabis as a treatment and it is unlikely to prescribe it, for those who fight to find time and money to get recipes. regularly, etc.

The research published by the Medicinal Cannabis sector in Australia indicates that people living with chronic pain, which represent approximately 60% to 70% of the medical cannabis market, pay around $ 350 a month for their treatment with cannabis products.

As there are currently no medicinal cannabis medications subsidized by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Program (PBS), this means that patients should cover all relevant costs in their pocket. Free sales access to CBD has the potential to significantly increase costs related to chronic pain that people incur in Australia. Therefore, the implications of medical cannabis pocket costs will continue to be a great access barrier for consumers.

Painustralia has participated in several research forums and policies that discuss the medical efficacy of medical cannabis products. In particular, we are concerned to point out that, due to the current provisions of the Special Access Plan in Australia, many cannabis medicinal manufacturers are reluctant to participate in investigations that can demonstrate the effectiveness and effectiveness of these products.

This is a tendency that was indicated in the Senate report on current barriers to the access of patients to medical cannabis in Australia, which indicates evidence that great changes in policies, such as the legalization of marijuana, have also eliminated Incentives for the financial industry to be controlled clinical research on the safety and efficacy of cannabis based medications. Nor has researchers access to medical cannabis products for clinical trials initiated by researchers. 

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