LINDSAY CARTER WAS WAITING OVER 12 MONTHS FOR HIS MEDICAL CANNABIS TREATMENT TO BE IMPORTED
After a lengthy and time consuming process from early 2015, final approval was given to the doctor in February 2016 by the Federal TGA. During that process we also successfully advocated for the Health (Drugs and Posions) Regulation in Queensland to be amended in December 2015. Queensland Health took several months to develop application forms for the doctor and pharmacist, and delayed access by duplicating the TGA assessment process. There were also delays waiting for the Canadian supplier Tilray to develop the product, as the US company could not provide a compassionate supply.
From Change.org petition - March 2016
Please sign the petition today and join our protests to help my son Lindsay and other patients have urgent access to medical cannabis NOW
Lindsay's doctor already has Special Access Scheme (SAS) Category B treatment approvals from the Federal Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
The import section of the TGA are waiting to finalise the pharmacist's import licence but Queensland Health bureacracy is delaying access by duplicating the TGA doctor's assessment process at a state level.
Burearacracy is putting my son's life and other patients life at risk by delaying access to medical cannabis. Lindsay is a 17-year-old Brisbane teenager who was treated with medical cannabis in 2014 in the US for his brain tumour, epilepsy, chronic pain and nausea. He was able to lawfully access it from a dispensary within 24 hours of it being recommended by his US doctors. Back in Australia it has been a very different story, but his case is paving the way for others patients who need urgent access and cannot wait years for research trials or for locally grown cannabis products to become available.
TGA Federal Approval
After almost 12 months of a long and arduous Federal TGA assessement process, alongside advocating for changes to the state's Health Drugs and Poisons Regulations, the TGA finalised Lindsay’s Queensland doctor’s Special Access Scheme (SAS) application and granted the doctor Category B treatment approvals to treat Lindsay with specified medical cannabis products that are waiting to be imported from a Canadian medical cannabis company.
Senior doctors in the TGA accepted Lindsay’s doctor’s opinion that there is clinical justification for him to treat him with medical cannabis products that are available overseas but not in Australia. I have given Lindsay's doctor my full informed and written consent that I will assume full responsibility for all and any adverse outcomes of the use of the medical cannabis treatment.
TGA import section waiting on State approval to issue Import Licence
The import section of the TGA are waiting for a notice from the Queensland government that the medical cannabis when landed and cleared by Customs at Queensland airport will be “lawfully” possessed, supplied and administered under state law. The only persons who require state approvals under the state Health Drugs and Poisons Regulations to “lawfully” possess, supply or administer are the pharmacist, Lindsay and I. Approval under the Health Regulations will also act as an exemption from criminal prosecution under the Drugs Misuse Act as it is an offence to “unlawfully” possess or supply cannabis in Queensland without authorisation or justification or excuse (defence of necessity). Queensland Health have had over 4 months to work with the TGA to sort out the state approval process since the Health Regulations were changed in December, to ensure that there was no duplication of processes that would cause unnecessary or undue delays.
WHAT’S HOLDING UP LINDSAY’S MEDICAL CANNABIS TREATMENT TODAY
On 18 March 2016 Lindsay’s doctor and pharmacist's state applications, and the supporting documents that were sent to the TGA during the Federal assessment were sent to Queensland Health.
On 31 March we held a protest outside Queensland Health over the delay. The Director General of Queensland Health, Dr Mike Walsh, met with us and gave Lindsay and I, his undertaking that an approval would be finalised by the end of the following week, 9 April. He also gave an undertaking that he would contact the TGA, and would not be duplicating, at a state level, the TGA SAS assessment process, or be referring it to an outside panel for review.
Dr Mike Walsh – Director General of Queensland Health has now gone against his word!
Instead of sending Lindsay’s doctor and pharmacist state approval, he sent Lindsay’s doctor a letter requesting an onerous amount of additional information that has already been sent to Q Health on 18 March.Dr Mike Walsh is duplicating the TGA process, because he states the TGA had not called him back. He expects updated specialists reports which are time consuming and costly, and has also referred Lindsay's application to an outside clinical group for review, and is also assessing Lindsay's applications according to provisions that are proposed in a new Bill the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Bill that is not law and has not even been presented to Queensland Parliament.
NO MORE DELAYS OR UNJUST LAWS!
After spending Good Friday in hospital due to a lengthy seizure and after prolonged and uncontrolled vomiting the doctors feared that my son may have suffered a brain hemorrhage.There is nothing worse than watching a loved one suffer when you know that something can be done to help them. Medical Cannabis is an already effective and proven treatment for my son Lindsay and there are tens of thousands of other Queensland and Australian patients waiting on lawful access.
Lindsay’s medical cannabis treatment as recommended and overseen by world leading cannabis experts has:
significantly reduced the size of his brain tumour and the swelling around the tumour
effectively controlled his epilepsy – tonic clonic and focal seizures that are not effectively controlled with pharmaceutical drugs
effectively relieved pain and suffering from chronic pain and nausea
stimulated his appetite
Off medical cannabis treatment the tumour grows - the seizures, pain and nausea return, he has difficulty eating and he has no quality of life. Any growth in the tumour - every seizure could cause death, further disability and life long brain injury.
conventional anti-epileptic drugs do not control Lindsay's seizures
surgeon does not recommend operating due to the risks to the part of the brain that is critical for cognitive functioning, learning, communication, comprehension and memory.
EVIDENCE CANNABIS REDUCES LINDSAY'S BRAIN TUMOUR
You can view Lindsay's MRI results on medical cannabis oil here.
TIME FOR MORE ACTION
What the State Health Department is not only proposing but has already put in action is unjust at every level.
I will no longer stand by and tolerate any further delays or allow any government or bureaucrat to play god with my son’s life.
No parent should live in fear of losing a child or loved or be treated as a criminal to save their child's life.
State approval should be a formality not an inquisition.
Patients should not have to wait any more than 1 day for cannabis to be approved for medical purposes especially when there is already Federal TGA approval.
Please sign and share this petition and help patients like my son Lindsay who needs urgent access to his medicine.
Please also join us for further protests outside Queensland Healh and Parliament House on 19 - 21 April 2016 against the unjust state burearcratic processes and the proposed Bill.
Lindsay's mum Lanai Carter
MAKE THE CHANGE TODAY
Sign and share our change.org petition for all patients who need urgent and affordable access to medical cannabis in Queensland, and exemption from criminal charges.
Finally Approved: Doctor and pharmacist
PUT THE PATIENTS FIRST
We are protesting against the injustice of the State's outdated
criminal laws, the excessive powers given to bureaucrats and the red tape and discriminatory state process under the Health (Drugs and Posions) Regulation NOW and what is proposed to continue in the new Bill.
We will be holding ongoing petitions and protests against the injustice of the State's criminal laws, and the excessive powers that the State government has already given to the Director General and other bureauracrats in Queensland Health under the Health (Drugs and Poions) Regulation Now, and what has been proposed to continue in the new Bill. Excessive executive and administrative powers and red tape is putting lives at risk and coming between the doctor and patient relationship causing undue delays and financial hardship.
Please sign our petition: let the Queensland Government you want the patients to be put first.
Change.org letter is addressed to the following:
Premier of Queensland: Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for Health: Cameron Dick
Director General: Queensland Health Dr Mike Walsh
Chief Health Officer: Dr Jeanette Young (Chief Health Officer of Queensland, Medical Cannabis)
Stop health bureaucrats from duplicating the Federal TGA Special Access Scheme treatment approval assessment and delaying access at a State level.
Stop criminalising medical cannabis patients and carers and make immediate approval provisions to exempt them from criminal prosecution.
Make Regulations for a state medical cannabis program that puts the patients FIRST.
Let the Queensland Government, and all state and territory governments know that it is:
** unjust to continue to delay or deny urgent, lawful and affordable access and supply to medical cannabis treatment when it has been accepted by the Commonwealth Department of Health, and proven to be a safe and effective treatment for a range of medical conditions and symptoms.
** unjust for the Queensland Government to continue with the criminalisation of patients and carers who use cannabis for medical purposes when the Commonwealth Parliament of Australia have passed federal medical cannabis laws for commercial purposes !