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Introduction: Welcome to AODstats, the Victorian alcohol and drug interactive statistics and mapping webpage.
AODstats provides information on the harms related to alcohol, illicit and pharmaceutical drug use in Victoria.

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EDMONTON and VANCOUVER, March 13, 2018 Aurora Cannabis Inc. and PreveCeutical Medical Inc. today announced the grant of three permits by the Australian Government, Department of Health, for the importation of cannabis into Australia for research purposes (the "Permits"). The Permits were granted to the Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence ("PACE") at the University of Queensland ("UQ") and allow PACE to import shipments of cannabis plant material for research purposes. Aurora, in turn, has received the required Canadian permits to export the cannabis to PACE.

The cannabis will be shipped from Canada by Aurora and used for PreveCeutical's soluble gel ("Sol-gel") drug delivery research program (the "Program"), which is being conducted by PreveCeutical's research partner UniQuest Pty Inc. and led by PreveCeutical's Chief Research Officer, Dr. Harendra Parekh.  The Program aims to develop a system that will increase the bioavailability of drugs by using a nose-to-brain delivery system. 

PreveCeutical intends to apply Sol-gel technology to cannabinoids to develop therapies for relief from a range of symptoms, including pain, inflammation, seizures and neurological disorders (see news release dated April 24, 2017).  The Permits will enable PreveCeutical to test an array of cannabis strains for the development and commercialisation of cannabinoid-based Sol-gels. The advantages of Sol-gels over conventional liquid nasal sprays relate to longer therapeutic effects, reduced dosage requirements, and reduced irritation and other negative side effects.

In consideration of the shipment, Aurora has received certain rights, including the option to either license, on a non-exclusive basis, the technology for Canada and Australia, or to opt for a royalty arrangement on product sales, as well as to purchase shares in PreveCeutical.

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Summary

  • Research is expanding for the use of cannabidiol as an anticonvulsant drug. The mechanism of cannabidiol in paediatric epilepsy is unclear but is thought to play a role in modulation of synaptic transmission.
  • Evidence for its efficacy in treating epilepsy is limited but growing, with a single pharmaceutical company-funded randomised double-blind controlled trial in children with Dravet syndrome.
  • Progress towards the use of medicinal cannabinoids incorporates a complex interplay of social influences and political and legal reform.
  • Access to unregistered but available cannabidiol in Australia outside of clinical trials and compassionate access schemesis state dependent and will require Therapeutic Goods Administration approval, although the cost may be prohibitive.
  • Further clinical trials are needed to clearly define efficacy and  safety, particularly long term. (taken from MJA 208 (3) j 19 February 2018)


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Roger Ladouceur – Canadian Family Physician February 2018

“The evidence indicates the most consistent effects of medical cannabinoids are adverse events. A variety of adverse events have a greater magnitude of effect than the potential benefits for the conditions targeted.1

The conclusions drawn by this analysis are not surprising. Study after study, analysis after analysis, and review after review2,3 have all reported the same findings: cannabis has little place within current therapeutic arsenals, except as a last resort in very specific situations or when nothing else has worked…”

The Canadian Family Physician

For complete article                                                                                                                                                   

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  • New medical guidelines have been issued in Canada, where cannabis is legal
  • They warn the effects of the drug outweigh minor benefits for most conditions 
  • And for some, it states it most often is only marginally better than a placebo 
  • The new document will be distributed to 30,000 doctors in Canada

New medical guidelines issued in Canada, where cannabis has been legal for medicinal use since 2001, warns that the effects of the drug outweigh any minor benefits for the vast majority of conditions.

And in the few conditions where it can be helpful - for example as pain relief for multiple sclerosis - the impact is only marginally better than placebo.

The document, published in the Canadian Family Physician journal, warns doctors to 'take a sober second thought' before prescribing the drug.

By Ben Spencer Medical Correspondent For The Daily Mail PUBLISHED: 07:00 AEDT, 16 February 2018

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By Ariana Eunjung Cha January 24 

A new class of epilepsy medications based on an ingredient derived from marijuana could be available as soon as the second half of 2018 in the United States, pending Food and Drug Administration approval.

Officials from GW Pharmaceuticals, the company that developed the drug, on Wednesday announced promising results from a study on 171 patients randomized into treatment and placebo groups. Members of the group, ages 2 to 55, have a condition called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and were suffering from seizures that were not being controlled by existing drugs. On average they had tried and discontinued six anti-seizure treatments and were experiencing 74 “drop” seizures per month. Drop seizures involve the entire body, trunk or head and often result in a fall or other type of injury.

The results, published in the Lancet, show that over a 14-week treatment period, 44 percent of patients taking the drug, called Epidiolex, saw a significant reduction in seizures, compared with 22 percent of the placebo group. Moreover, more of the patients who got the drug experienced a 50 percent or greater reduction in drop seizures.

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