The application process is burdensome, inconsistent and difficult to navigate. Government clinical guidance is narrow, politically motivated and designed to arrive at conclusions suiting outcomes other than the best interests of patients.
Thousands of sick Australians are still forced to rely on the illicit market to obtain what may very well be life-saving medicines while medicos remain confused about how and whether to prescribe. Many doctors even recommend their patients continue to use unregulated products rather than attempting the legal route – United In Compassion (UIC) views this as an unacceptable state of affairs. Meanwhile, research and acceptance around the world is exploding….
UIC seeks to bridge the information gap by once again promoting and showcasing global and domestic research and – importantly – placing patient issues and many would argue, human rights firmly back on the political, regulatory and clinical agendas.
Over 3 days hear from world experts as we grapple with the problems around patient access, guidelines and supply.
The FX Medicine LIVE team were pleased to attend the 2019 UIC Australian Medicinal Cannabis Symposium in Tweed Heads on 22-24 March 2019. Watch our interviews from Day One below.
Justin Sinclair is a Research Fellow at the NICM Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University, where he also heads up the Australian Medicinal Cannabis Research and Education Collaboration. Since 2016, Justin has presented his research findings and educational material specific to cannabis at over 60 seminars across Australia and New Zealand, and has been actively involved in the training of medical practitioners in the safe and effective use of medicinal cannabis throughout Australia. His current research focus is investigating the use of medicinal cannabis for the symptomatic management of endometriosis.
ANDREW AND Justin DISCUSSED his research into the potential use of cannabinoids for endometriosis:
Using cannabis for the management of endometriosis
The economic impact of chronic conditions
The potential of cannabis to be used as an exit drug for opioids
The multi-focal effects of cannabis for endometriosis
Lobbying for the use of cannabis for chronic conditions
Is cannabis a medicine or a food?
The safety issues surrounding growing and dosing cannabis for home growers
How medicinal cannabis is often being used in the US and Canada
Addressing the stigma of cannabis usage
The importance of education for healthcare professionals
Dr Teresa Nicoletti is a partner in Mills Oakley's Intellectual Property, Health and Life Sciences group. She is both a lawyer and PhD-qualified scientist with 25 years' experience in the health and life sciences sector. Teresa has gained particular prominence in Australia as the leading lawyer in the regulation of medicinal cannabis (Federal and State). She is also a board member of the Medicinal Cannabis Council.
ANDREW AND Teresa DISCUSSED THE legal aspects of cannabis:
How Teresa first came to be involved with medicinal cannabis
Teresa's role in assisting patients with legal access to medicinal cannabis
The evolution of medicinal cannabis access
State vs federal drug regulations
Exploring different drug listing categories for different cannabis products
Teresa's involvement in lobbying the government improve cannabis regulation
Dr Ware is the Chief Medical Officer for Canopy Growth Corporation and is responsible for the advancement of research and Canopy Growth’s global medical cannabis brand.
He is an Associate Professor in Family Medicine and Anesthesia at McGill University in Canada and over the past 10 years he has served as the Director of Clinical Research of the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the McGill University Health Centre, and Executive Director of the non-profit Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids.
Dr Ware continues to practice pain medicine at the McGill University Health Center and has acted as an advisor on medical cannabis policy to the Canadian government since 2001. He also served as Vice Chair of the Federal Task Force on the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada in 2016 and is recognised globally as a leader in medical cannabis research.
ANDREW AND Mark DISCUSSED the opioid sparing effect CANNABIS:
Mark's medical background
Canada's cannabis industry
The legislative differences between Canada and Australia regarding medicinal cannabis
What has happened in Canada since the legalisation of cannabis for social/recreational use
What lessons can Australia learn from Canada regarding the evolving access of cannabis
The opioid sparing effect of cannabis
The need for better understanding of how best to use cannabis as an exit drug
Substance abuse - environmental effects vs drug effects
The direction of future cannabis research in Canada
Safety issues concerning cannabis, now and in the future
Adam Miller is the founder of BuddingTech and The Medical Cannabis Council of Australia. In 2015, Adam became involved in the medical cannabis space due to his passion for the medicine and belief in innovation stimulating its growth. In 2016, Adam founded BuddingTech, Australia’s first medical cannabis innovation coordination program. Adam also founded the Medical Cannabis Council, Australia's first national industry body to represent the medical cannabis industry in Australia.
ANDREW AND Adam DISCUSSED medicinal cannabis: Australian Vs the global market:
How access to medicinal cannabis in Australia compares to the rest of the world
Comparing cannabis and alcohol
The white market vs the black market vs the compassionate market
The future of medicine and potentials for cannabis
FX MEDICINE LIVE: ANDREW SPEAKS TO Prof David Caldecott
Prof David Caldecott was the MC of the 2019 UIC Medicinal Cannabis Symposium.
David has worked as a specialist emergency physician for 25 years, is a senior university lecturer and adjunct associate professor. A founding member of the Australian Medical Cannabis Observatory; the AMCO was created to establish the infrastructure and support systems that an industry will require. He has authored of numerous publications with specialties in Novel Illicit Compounds in the ED, Simulation, Medical Education, Innovation in the Emergency Department, Medical Response to Terrorism and Disaster Medicine.
ANDREW AND David discussed the importance of providing quality education to medical practitioners:
David's clinical and academic background
The importance of education for medical practitioners
ANU's medicinal cannabis course
Why are medical practitioners nervous about prescribing cannabis?
What needs to change
FX MEDICINE LIVE: ANDREW SPEAKS TO Dr Janet Schloss
Dr Janet Schloss is a Clinical Nutritionist and Naturopath who has over 19 years of private practice. Janet works part time seeing patients and part time conducting research. She completed her PhD at the School of Medicine, The University of Queensland and continues to conduct research to help patients and practitioners to establish evidence based practice.
ANDREW AND Janet DISCUSSED her current research:
Janet's research into using medicinal cannabis in the management of glioblastoma multiforma (GBM)
Choosing the correct cannabis for the trial
The recruitment phase of the GBM trial
Roadblocks and hurdles that the trial and subjects are facing
The importance of education for medical practitioners
Patient feedback from the GBM trial
FX MEDICINE LIVE: ANDREW SPEAKS TO Prof Iain McGregor
Prof Iain McGregor is the Academic Director of the Lambert Initiative and an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow. He is responsible for academic and organisational leadership, strategic direction, governance and reporting, and the development and achievement of the preclinical and clinical research strategies. Iain oversees a team of more than 25 staff and students, including the Associate Directors, and reports to the Lambert Initiative Internal Management Group (IMG). Renowned in the field of medicinal cannabis research, Iain leads strategic relations, advocacy and education.
ANDREW AND Iain DISCUSSED THE research into MEDICINAL CANNABIS:
The work of the Lambert Initiative and how it all started
The entourage effect
Using "the benefit of the doubt"
Safety issues and red flags
Target deconvolution of cannabinoids
The difference between an authorised prescriber and accessing SAS Category B
The importance of education for medical practitioners
FX MEDICINE LIVE: ANDREW SPEAKS TO Morgan Taylor
Morgan Taylor has suffered from Crohn's disease for the past 10 years.
Morgan Shared her patient story:
FX MEDICINE LIVE: ANDREW SPEAKS TO Andrew Kavasilas
Dr Scott Smid is a pharmacologist working at The University of Adelaide specialising in drug discovery and development research both in industry and academia. He maintains a strong research interest in experimental therapeutics applied towards novel treatments for gastrointestinal and neurodegenerative diseases. This includes investigating the biological actions of phytocannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids and endocannabinoids in areas as diverse as gut function, inflammation and neurodegeneration. Current interests include novel ligand development for binding and inhibiting pathological aggregating proteins such as beta-amyloid and alpha-synuclein, which are associated with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
ANDREW AND Scott DISCUSSED potential uses of cannabis in gut health:
How cannabinoids can influence gut inflammation
Real world applications for cannabis - Morgan Taylor's case
Should we isolating cannabis actives or should we use the whole plant?
Difficulties faced by cannabis researchers
The future of the cannabis industry
The timeline of cannabis drug discovery to patient use
FX MEDICINE LIVE: ANDREW SPEAKS TO Lucy Haslam
Lucy is the Executive Director and Co-founder of United in Compassion. She is a retired nurse, who previously founded a fully accredited in-home nursing care company which grew from a one-person operation to a staff of over 50 nursing and disability support workers and included a respite centre and administration centre caring for over 200 patients. Patients included low through to high support clients such as quadriplegics, acquired brain injury, physical and intellectual disabilities, frail aged and palliative care.
As of August 2013, Lucy has spearheaded the movement to re-introduce medicinal cannabis into Australia. Lucy witnessed the dramatic relief her son Dan (suffering stage 4 bowel cancer) gained from using medicinal cannabis, and Dan championed the cause alongside his Mother. Together they started a social campaign which ultimately changes Australian Laws. Lucy says that she used to feel proud of that achievement but now feels that Australian legislators have produced a system set up to fail patients like Dan. On Dan’s deathbed she promised to make access to cannabis better for Australians.
ANDREW AND Lucy wrap up the 2019 UIC Medicinal Cannabis Symposium:
The history of United in Compassion (UIC)
How Lucy and her husband changed their mindset about cannabis
The evolution of the cannabis use and the UIC Medicinal Cannabis Symposium from 2014 to today
The future of cannabis accessibility - the black market vs legal access
Calling out Australian politics
The history of medicinal cannabis use in Australia
The importance of doctor education and patient safety
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