Speaking to the Irish Examiner, William McLoughlin BL, CPI’s national secretary explained why the national charity fought to get chronic pain on the list of ailments cannabis can be used to legally treat:
“Some people are desperate due to chronic pain. I personally know of people who use cannabis for chronic pain.
“Some say it works, some say it doesn’t. But you must always go to your doctor.”
The previous model for the use of THC for patients was based upon recommendations from the Health Products Regulatory Authority, and did not include recommendations for chronic pain.
Led by Mr. Mcloughlin, the CPI drafted their own copy of the application process, accessible via their website, and can be used as a basis for any application to the Minister for Health.
Discussing the importance of the ruling, professor of pharmacology and therapeutics David Finn, who is also the co-director of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, said:
“This is a very interesting and important development which demonstrates a recognition by Irish medical professionals and the minister for health of the potential therapeutic value of medicinal cannabis for the treatment of chronic pain.
“Approximately 20% of the Irish population suffers from chronic pain, and up to 40% of patients report that the management of their pain is inadequate, either due to the limited efficacy of existing treatments or unacceptably high levels of side-effects.
“Chronic pain is the most researched indication for cannabinoids, and the majority of clinical studies, meta-analyses and systematic reviews conclude that cannabis or cannabinoids can be effective in alleviating certain types of chronic pain.”
The Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016, is now entering its third stage of debate and will go before the Oireachtas health committee early next year.