Those seeking medicinal cannabis products in Nelson are being stymied by the lack of a specialist pain clinic in the region.
Nelsonians wanting a medicinal cannabis prescription are struggling to gain approval because of the lack of appropriate pain specialists in the region.
Medicinal Cannabis Awareness New Zealand trustee Shane Le Brun said no Nelson doctor has prescribed medicinal cannabis spray Sativex as yet, despite a number of chronic pain sufferers and their families clamouring for access.
The greatest barrier is the lack of a pain clinic in the Nelson region, he said.
“No one even has a show of getting it in Nelson at the moment. It’s such a rigmarole patients are a bit hesitant to go shopping [around] for it.
“The forms for off-label [Sativex], if you’ve got a specialist who’s got the cajones to go up against the Ministry of Health, there’s no one playing God and shutting down applications. You’ve got to find a specialist – that’s the hurdle.”
Sativex is one of two medicinal cannabis products currently approved for use in New Zealand.
To be prescribed Sativex an approved specialist must provide proof in the form of medical studies that it is an appropriate treatment for the patient, and that all other