24 August 2016
Children with severe epilepsy have begun taking an experimental cannabis-based drug under the supervision of the NSW government.
A group of 40 children who have exhausted conventional treatment options have been receiving doses of Epidiolex at the Sydney and Westmead children’s hospitals.
Epidiolex is a liquid form of pure cannabidiol – one at least 113 active cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant – developed by GW Pharmaceuticals.
The research is part of the NSW Government’s $21 million commitment to explore the therapeutic use of medicinal cannabis.
NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant says this scheme is an important first step in treating some of the state’s sickest children with the promising drug.
“These children suffer from such severe, drug-resistant epilepsy – some with hundreds of seizures a day – that they are too sick to take part in clinical trials. This scheme fills that gap in the hope of providing some relief to them and their families,” Dr Chant said.