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Another medical cannabis product approved

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/04/2016

Peter Dunne © Getty Peter Dunne Approval has been granted for a medical cannabis product to be used to treat a severe case of Tourette's Syndrome.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says the patient's doctor lodged an application to use Aceso Calm Spray and approval has been granted.

"The application was comprehensive, innovative and considered. The Director of Mental Health and the acting Director of Public Health recommended its approval," Mr Dunne said.

While some have criticised the requirements for such applications as being too tough, Mr Dunne said this case shows they aren't an impediment to "robust, clinician-led, assessment-based approaches".

The guidelines for approving the use of these kinds of products are under review and Mr Dunne expects that review to look into issues around whether the rules are too stringent.

The application is the third received by Mr Dunne for prescribing cannabis-based, non-pharmaceutical grade products.

One application, made by former union boss Helen Kelly's doctors, was subsequently withdrawn before a decision needed to be made by the minister.

The first application to get approval was in the high-profile case of Nelson teenager Alex Renton, who died in Wellington Hospital in July last year.

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