Monday, December 12, 2005

sativex: inquest could wipe out GW Pharmaceuticals cannabis cure in death scare

AN INQUEST into the death of a 70 year old woman who took Sativex in clinical trials started today in Sheffield, UK, reports The Guardian:
"Questions will today be raised about the safety of pain relief medicines based on cannabis, as an inquest opens into the death of a 70-year-old woman who took part in drug trials."

"The spotlight on Sativex, the first ever cannabis-derived medication, comes amid rising concern in the medical world over the impact of the government's reclassification of the raw drug."
The Guardian, ominously continues:
"Today's inquest at the medico-legal centre in Sheffield will hear that Rene Anderson, who had diabetes, joined the trials of Sativex at the Royal Hallamshire hospital. Doctors thought the experimental drug might alleviate the nerve pains she had in her hands and feet. Shortly after starting the drug she developed psychosis and went to hospital. The psychosis was not controlled and after 10 weeks in hospital she develop.ed physical problems, including pneumonia and kidney failure. She died on March 3."

"This inquest will explore how and why Mrs Anderson died. It will examine the drug trial, [her] psychiatric illness and physical deterioration that ultimately led to her death," said Richard Starkie, of the solicitors Irwin Mitchell. "If it is found Sativex did play a part in her illness or death, it would clearly raise very important questions [on] the safety of the drug."
If the inquest proves that Mrs Anderson was killed by Sativex, which is made from THC extracted from cannabis plants, this would be the first cannabis death ever recorded.

Of course it could be the other ingredients that effected the unfortunate woman, or something unrelated.

Share holders in GW Pharmaceuticals should not panic, yet. Pharmaceutical drugs kill 100,000's of thousands every year with no dent in profits it seems.

However, access on the NHS to a cannabis based drug like Sativex, which does work, and has minimal side effects for most people, will certainly hurt the profits of some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

They won't mind at all if GW Pharmaceuticals is wiped out.

• The rate of deaths caused by prescription drugs climbs roughly 25 percent at the beginning of each month. Mrs Anderson died on 3rd March.


Cannabis Never Killed Anyone - Untill They Tried to Make it Safe

The inquest in Sheffield found that Sativex played "a significant role" in Mrs Anderson's mental ill health, which ultimately led to the Frecheville pensioner's death five months later in March 2004.

Coroner Chris Dorries said: "On the balance of probabilities, I find that the initial drug reaction must have been a significant contributory factor in at least the initiation of the illness which continued."

The coroner ordered that a transcript of his findings be sent to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regul-atory Authority, a government agency responsible for ensuring that all medicines are acceptably safe.

He recorded a narrative verdict, finding that she died from kidney failure due to Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome "following resolving pneumonia due to immobility arising from toxic brain syndrome".

News of the Weed adds: What the Coroner did not mention or take into account was that Sativex not only contains an extract of cannabis but also a significant amount of alcohol - and Mrs Anderson was a diabetic! It is well known that diabetics are very sensitive to alcohol. If Mrs Anderson had been given the correct dose of a non alcoholic version of Sativex as used by the Cannabis Grandma, or THC4MS (cannabis chocolate) she would have been ok.

This is why campaigners are calling for 'Cannabis Clinics' - run by people who know what they are doing.

Ironically there is no record of anyone ever dying from cannabis - untill a drug company tried to 'make it safe'.


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