ACC to fund medicinal cannabis for man with disability

It could pave the way for people living in chronic pain

ACC to fund medicinal cannabis for man with disability

Insurance News

By Roxanne Libatique

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) has agreed to fund medicinal cannabis for a man who had been “suffering from hundreds of seizures a day.”

Jamie O’Mara was brain damaged at birth and would suffer from a number of seizures every day. His mother, Sally O’Mara, described her son’s seizures as “debilitating.”

“He’s not been able to move forward or focus, or function in any way. They’ve been quite debilitating because they’re so constant,” Sally told Newshub – adding that they almost lost hope until they finally turned to medicinal cannabis. However, they waited a long time for the approval and found that it costs $500 per week.

The family applied to ACC for funding but was initially rejected in April 2019 as medicinal cannabis was not the usually the way to manage epilepsy. However, a review overturned the organisation’s decision.

ACC agreed to reimburse the family and fund the drugs for the next six months, explaining that it’s taking “a cautious approach” and wants to “monitor if rehab outcomes are achieved.”

“It’s just such as relief, it’s indescribable,” Sally commented.

ACC noted that Jamie’s case was one of only 10 that received funding from the organisation for cannabis-based products since 2008 – prompting calls for the organisation to offer medicinal cannabis funding to others on a three-month trial basis.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!