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'Mouth spray could help me to get back on my two feet'

By Western Gazette - North Dorset  |  Posted: September 06, 2012

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A MULTIPLE sclerosis sufferer who relies on a wheelchair to get around is hoping to walk again one day.

Karen Gill, 41, of Ilchester, believes a mouth spray called Sativex she was prescribed when she lived in Cambridgeshire could help her walk using crutches.

The mother-of-three, who moved to Somerset three years ago, said: "It helps me with walking. I've asked my doctors and they said, 'we don't do it down here'. It would help me so much I would pay for it.

"In Cambridgeshire I used to walk on crutches which was really good. It would mean so much to me; it's not very nice sitting in a chair."

Mrs Gill, who is originally from Bridgwater, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2004. She visited her doctor after experiencing pins and needles in her feet and, after tests, was told she had the incurable disease which affects the central nervous system.

She was forced to give her up her job as a catering assistant at a school as her condition quickly deteriorated. She lost her mobility seven months after her diagnosis.

Symptoms of the disease include extreme tiredness, muscle weakness, memory loss, inability to concentrate and anxiety. Mrs Gill, who also suffers spasms in her left hand and leg, said she has "good days" and "bad days" and can find it difficult to do simple tasks, such as making herself a drink or preparing a meal.

She said: "Good days are when I am able to do things. I can do the washing up, make myself a coffee, a slice of toast. Bad days are when my husband gets me out of bed and my body can't take my weight. I may not be able to stand up.

"It can be frustrating. I just want to be able to walk. I read stories about people's mobility coming back and wish that would happen to me."

Mrs Gill's house has been adapted to be wheelchair-friendly but she said it can be difficult navigating roads and pavements as drop kerbs can be hard to find.

She added: "My family have been really supportive. They try to help me so much. If I'm feeling low, they will ask me what's wrong and give me a cuddle and ask if I want a coffee or something to eat.

"If it wasn't for them then life would be much more difficult."

A spokesman for Somerset Primary care Trust said: "The drug Sativex can only be recommended and prescribed by a hospital specialist. If a patient believed they would gain benefit from being prescribed the drug they should first discuss this with their hospital consultant who can advise on the personal risks and benefits.

"Where a patient's doctor or hospital consultant believes a drug or treatment, not routinely funded by the NHS, might offer a patient some clinical benefit they can write to the primary care trust requesting funding. Such requests are reviewed on a patient-by-patient basis and after proper consideration."

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  • SourAlienOG  |  September 07 2012, 2:47PM

    Sativex is pure cannabis oils extracted from the flower buds into a tincture. Its not cannabis 'based' medicine, its pure cannabis oils. Its a concentrate, stronger than any herbal cannabis on the streets or even in Dutch coffee shops. Before, the governments view was 'No medicinal value in cannabis'. We know this to be a lie. The homeoffice granted GW pharma a license to grow thousands of cannabis plants in Kent, for medicine, extract the oils and call it Sativex. So now the governments position is ' no medicinal value in HERBAL cannabis'. Oh wait, hold on, i thought there was no medicinal value in cannabis at all? But now you have GW pharma growing thousands of plants, undergoing an unnecessary extraction process, so now its no medicinal value in 'Herbal' cannabis. Hmmmm...But thats stupid, because its all herbal, whether it be a concentrate oil, liquid or solid in pressed pollen form, Or the natural cannabis flower buds. Not everyone can obtain Sativex as it is being sold to the NHS at extortionate prices, and many experts agree the natural flower bud is more effective anyway. (it doesn't have to be smoked). Cannabis is medicine, but dont think it has to be synthesized or extracted into little bottles for it to be medicinal. The natural cannabis flowers contain a full cannabinoid profile. If it was legally regulated MSers and others who suffer, could obtain cannabis without fear of arrest. It could be sold in dispensaries but without prohibiting recreational use as all this would do is hand that gap in the market to criminals. Prohibition is an ineffective economic drain that does more harm than good.

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  • PoetPeter  |  September 07 2012, 10:00AM

    We need to stop this stupid and unwinnable war against cannabis. It is causing far more harm to our communities than it prevents. If we had a properly regulated system of production and supply we'd have no more illegal cannabis farms, instead we'd have thousands of new jobs. We'd have no more dealers on the streets. Cannabis would be available to adults only through licensed outlets and we'd have some control over the THC and CBD content. Doctors would be able to prescribe one of the most effective medicines that has no serious side effects at all. At the moment the government has given GW Pharmaceuticals an illegal monopoly on cannabis so they make millions out of a medicine that you can grow in your greenhouse for virtually nothing. If we introduced a legally regulated system we would solve nearly all the problems around cannabis. Science proves how much safer it is than tobacco, alcohol, prescription medicines and all other recreational drugs. If anyone does have a problem with it they could get help without having to confess to a crime. CLEAR published independent, expert research last year which shows that a tax and regulate policy on cannabis would produce a net gain to the UK economy of up to £9.3 billion per annum. It is a scandal that our government, our judges, our courts, our police and our newspapers keep misleading us about cannabis. Find out the truth for yourself and wake up to the lies you have been told.

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  • achesandpains  |  September 07 2012, 9:22AM

    Firstly why no mention of the constituents of Sativex? Sativex (Nabiximols) is a pure extract of two strains of very potent cannabis. Nothing more nothing less (apart from mint flavouring, alcohol carrier and preservative). It contains ALL the active ingredients (over 400) of herbal cannabis including the two most recognised medicinal compounds THC and CBD in equal quantities. Sativex is produced by GW Pharmaceuticals who grow approximately 20 tons of high quality, high potency cannabis every year at a secret location in the south of England (probably Kent) , extract the active ingredients, bottle them and sell them (in the form of Sativex) to the NHS at huge profit. The cost (£140 per 10 ml) works out at 10x the street price of raw cannabis for a product that anyone can make in their kitchen at home. But while GW Pharma can grow 60,000 cannabis plants at any one time with total impunity, anyone trying to grow even one plant at home will be dragged through the courts and suffer all the collateral damage that goes with a criminal record - for growing a plant to improve their health! To add insult to injury Dutch medical patients who are prescribed Bedrocan (basically raw cannabis) by their GP for MS, can bring their medication to the UK (under the Schengen Agreement) and use it perfectly legally. If a UK citizen goes to Holland and receives a similar prescription from a doctor and brings it back to the UK then, if caught, they will suffer the full weight of the 'law' for possession and trafficking because the Home Office refuses to honour the Schengen agreement for its own citizens. Sativex is deemed safe and effective by the UK government. But they also maintain that 'raw' cannabis is dangerous. Utter, utter sham and hypocrisy - how on earth can cannabis be safer and more effective than ..err well.... cannabis? Even the MHRA have admitted that Sativex is cannabis and have completely failed to establish any difference between the two apart from the presence of a higher concentration of the two main psychoactive ingredients (THC and CBD) in Sativex than would normally be found in raw cannabis (i.e. Sativex is more potent than the majority of high potency strains of cannabis (known by the media as skunk) currently available. While this expensive farce goes on poor Mrs Gill and many many like her are left to suffer at the hands of cruel, clueless bureacrats, most of whom inhabit the Home Office. Check out the Sativex scam and Google 'the sativex scam becomes a scandal'.

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