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MCANZ Press Release. Patients to Challenge ACC over Medical Cannabis Funding

MCANZ has resolved to take the fight to ACC for funding Medical Cannabis, due to persistent refusals experienced in the patient community even when patients have exhausted all other treatments, or the clinical response of patients using Medical Cannabis has far exceeded standard treatments.

Jamie O’mara, who suffers from a severe form epilepsy, recovering from one of his near death experiences.

As recently as January this year it seemed as if progress was being made, with a significant win for patients with funding granted in the case of Jamie O’mara.  In this instance, ACC has reneged on this commitment and is now using it’s typical tactics of delay and obfuscation and spurious concerns around “tolerance” build up as a reason to cease funding going forward.

”To finally have something help relieve Jamie’s long 36yr battle with seizures was relief beyond words, but the cost had kept our stress levels high. The CBD oil has saved his life, as he had started aspirating in seizures.”

“Now ACC are stating they will be taking the funding away in June, giving only rubbish excuses for their refusal to continue paying for it. It’s nothing short of cruel & an enormous added insult to his injury, We are at a loss with their actions. ” Says Jamie’s mother Sally O’Mara

MCANZ has soken to John Miller law about the process with a view to engaging their services, and is now canvassing the patient community for expressions of interest, to allow MCANZ to select patients with strong cases to follow through the appeals process.

“ACC should not be refusing to pay for cannabis products where they are a prescribed treatment for those with ACC covered injuries.

Any  ACC decisions to this effect are contrary to a fundamental purpose of the ACC legislation which is to promote rehabilitation to the maximum extent practicable.

John Miller Law has agreed to challenge any such ACC decisions” says John Miller,

ACC funding has been a path long available to patients, however the default position is to refer to the opinion of the faculty of pain medicine, flying in the face of the individual patient experience. While the evidence for chronic pain for example, is that Cannabis is effective, the evidence showing it is superior to standard treatments is lacking.

“This is the big issue with personalized medicine, the evidence points to it being useful, particularly after patients have exhausted standard treatments.  It’s telling that in Canada, Cannabis is a third-line treatment for chronic neuropathic pain, while Methadone is a fourth-line treatment.  With NZ, ACC would rather patients be dependant on risky Opioids, than have the funding of much safer alternatives that could affect their bottom line”

“The Medical Cannabis regime David Clark is responsible for only solves half the problem, with all these regulations and companies starting up, its meaningless without patient subsidies. Patients are often sickness beneficiaries or receiving ACC earnings-related compensation,  so its funding battles like this, or improved pricing delivered by the referendum, that are truly going to improve patient access.” Says MCANZ Coordinator and Founder Shane Le Brun.

For Patients who have had funding declined for Medical Cannabis by ACC, MCANZ is collating details to select cases to take forward. Information can be supplied using this online form for patient/claimant selection.

It won’t be cheap to take the fight to ACC, so MCANZ asks the wider community who wish to support this endeavour, to donate to MCANZ via a “givealittle” page for this cause.

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