Pressure mounting on Pharmac to fund marijuana drug Sativex

Source: 1News

Sufferers of multiple sclerosis and epilepsy say the current Government funded medicine isn't working for everyone. 

Marijuana based drug Sativex is believed to reduce seizures and constant pain. 

Jamie O'Mara used Sativex for six weeks and his mother Sally says it's the only drug that's made a real difference to his health. 

"We've tried natural therapies, none of which have had the results that this Sativex has had," she told ONE News.

The drug is currently not by Pharmac, and costs $1200 a month. 

Pharmac says although Sativex has some benefits, it is not clear it does a better job than the medicines they already fund. 

Seventy-four people have applied to use Sativex, and with permission needing to be granted, only 26 are taking it. 

Medical Marijuana Campaigner Sally O'Mara says it needs to be funded by the drug buying agency. 

"They need to make it a lot more accessible for people on compassionate grounds," she told ONE News. 

Pharmac gets $850 million a year to buy drugs and says the money is only spent on evidence based medicine.