Here is the MCUA’s full response
Here at CLR we also penned the following 24 March 2021
“Medicinal cannabis blacklisted by Australian pain specialists” by Kate Aubusson, Sydney Morning Herald, March 23rd 2021.
This article, published in the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this week caused outrage among chronic pain sufferers who have found cannabis to be extremely useful and to have far less side effects than the host of heavy duty pharmaceutical products being prescribed by the Professor and his colleagues.
AS one patient put it: “What they are really saying is, Australian pain specialists have been paid by big pharma to not support Medical cannabis, these so called specialists are heartless greedy people with no empathy.”
The majority were infuriated by his commentary while others shook their heads in disbelief to to hear a doctor suggest that alcohol would be “more effective pound-for-pound” as a treatment for chronic pain.
President of the MCUA of Australia Inc, Deb Lynch was particularly perturbed by this comment. “Alcohol may dull chronic pain for a while but then the anger will kick in and often domestic and family violence end up being the result. Health statistics and road carnage stand as a monument to the fact Alcohol causes far more HARM to the body and to society in general, than cannabis. This comment is irresponsible and shows clearly that there is medical bias against cannabis becoming universally accepted by doctors as a treatment for chronic pain.
The Professor goes on to say that chronic pain patients would be best served by multidisciplinary pain management clinics that teach them the skills to manage their pain,.. and (use) procedures or medicinal treatments with evidence to back their effectiveness,.
(Is this) “The same multidisciplinary approach that has been around for decades and fails chronic pain patients? The same approach that until recently saw no harm in long term opiate use that’s now proven to make chronic pain worse?”
And this: “I’ve proved it works for me! I don’t need any so called experts, with their agendas, telling me the opposite of lived experiences. I now take over 1000 less pills every 3 months..”
Many patients wait years for an appointment at one of these clinics. In the meantime they are forced to choose highly addictive toxic medication; risk going to the black / green market or attend high priced clinics that prescribe corporate products at over inflated prices.
Patients are asking: Does the Professor and his colleagues really understand what it is to suffer from chronic pain relentlessly, day after day?
These experts sit at their desks, desensitised to the cries of those in pain, offering crumbs and platitudes; but when a safe and effective treatment becomes available they shun it on the purported grounds of “not enough evidence” and assert that medical cannabis is a Trojan horse used by activists who want it for recreational use.
“I’m taking one hell of an expensive placebo,” wrote one poster. “Because my life has changed dramatically!! My pain specialist said he would support but not prescribe …”
No wonder people are losing faith in the medical profession.
It makes no sense. Cannabis is being recognised more and more worldwide as a safe and effective treatment by 100s of 1000s of patients who dont have to see gold standard trials toknow it works for them. Does Prof Vagg really believe these desperate souls want to break the law to get some kind of quality of life? Because this is what they are being forced to do.
“The one thing he has got right is that “medicinal cannabis products on the market are not even close to showing they are effective in the management of patients with complex chronic pain,” says Deb Lynch, President of Medical Cannabis Users Assoc of Australia (MCUA) Inc. who has been through the judicial system on cannabis related charges for self supply of whole plant products after trying for six years to get a legal prescription.
According to Professor Vagg, Cannabidiol-only (CBD) formulations which have never been the subject of any gold standard trials, are the most commonly prescribed type of cannabis product.
“And their pills work?” Another poster wrote. “Apparently not … My mum suffered many Illnesses, her suicide note was screaming at them, the pain meds don’t work….she too had been denied this path of medical cannabis..”
But conversely, Ms Lynch agrees with Prof Vagg’s statement about cannabidiol-only products.
“CBD only will not treat complex chronic pain in many instances. THC is essential. CBD alone is useless to many patients, myself included when it comes to reducing pain levels. It depends on the cause of the pain.
These are the things doctors dont seem to be able to grasp. Cannabis is a highly individualised treatment. What works for some, wont work for others.”
“Actually it has been amazing for my chronic pain i have been living with for the last 4 years…..the only problem i find with most of Australia’s legal medicinal cannabis is that it is such poor quality you can get better product in the middle of Africa.”
Patients KNOW what works for them. They are the best judge. And Professor Iain McGregor hit the nail on the head when he said: why would all these people continue to use a product that doesn’t help them?
Patients want to treat their pain with cannabis BECAUSE it WORKS – not because they are on board some imaginary trojan horse wanting to use cannabis for recreational reasons and its time
the medical profession accepted patients views, stopped pretending to care about patient well- being and started doing something to help them.
President MCUA of Aust Inc