Applications for a medicinal cannabis trial in Queensland, Australia are underway, aimed at treating children with drug-resistant epilepsy, according to an Australian Broadcasting Corporation report.
Epidiolex, a liquid form of pure cannabidiol, will be used in the trials, which will be developed and run by a research team from the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane. The drug is manufactured by UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals.
“Our project is driven by two things — compassion and hope,” Health Minister Cameron Dick said in the report. “These children suffer from a terribly debilitating condition.”
The study will not be randomized — all participants will be given the drug and none would receive a placebo. The trials are part of a $6 million project that will include establishing a specialist research center.
Dr. Andrew Hallahan, executive director of medical services for Children’s Health Queensland, said the study would help determine the safety of the drug and “its potential efficacy.”
“At its best, what we would have is another option for specialist doctors from pediatric neurologists to offer to help children,” Hallahan said. “The initial studies that I have seen don’t indicate that it’s going to be a miraculous cure for epilepsy and all drugs have their side effects.”
A bill legalizing medical marijuana in Queensland is currently before a Parliament committee.
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