Doctors says that “patients can live a better life with medical marijuana”
A Maltese doctor who specialises in chronic pain, believes that medical marijuana can ease some of the pain caused by different conditions. However, he believes that it is not accessible enough for Maltese patients.
The Chairman of the Medicines Authorty, Prof Anthony Serracino Inglott, has confirmed with tvm.com.mt that, to date, the Authority has not received any application to import medical marijuana. Meanwhile, every day, Dr Andrew Agius meets patients who are in such pain that their life becomes a living hell and they cannot find any remedy to be free of this pain.
Dr Agius said that he is frustrated that in Malta medical marijuana is not yet available to patients. He said that out of all the specialists who have the authority to subscribe this medicine, he only knows of one oncologist who gives it to his patients.
He added,”these patients don’t want to access it illegally, but if they did have access to it, their lives would improve immensely,”
Profs. Serracino Inglott said that “one cannot just go to a pharmacy and buy this medicine because it is not yet available on the market.”
Asked about the effects of medical marijauna on patients, Dr Agius said that morphine has worse effects when it is administered for chronic pain. Dr Agius added that medical marijuana can create anxiety, but it does have its advantages.
He said “recent research shows that small doses of THC and even CBD – the two principal ingredigents in marijuana which are used as medicine, can both prevent mental illness, including Alzheimer’s Disease and they even have the potential of curing these conditions”.
Speaking about whether patients can become dependent on medical marijuana, Dr Agius said that the possiblities of this are slim, because only small doses are administered for such treatment
He said that the public – including professionals – should know the advantages and disadvantages of medical marijuana, because he said that is the only way they can make an informed decision about how it can be used as a treatment.