Young S’porean Girl With Drug-Resistant Epilepsy Allowed To Use Cannabinoids

Cannabis use as an effective form of treatment for medical conditions is a long-standing debate.

While it has palliative qualities, there is also a risk that it may cause or worsen problems like mental and respiratory illnesses.

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The Straits Times reported today (1 Dec) that Singapore authorities have for the first time approved the use of a cannabis-derived medicine, or cannabinoids, for a treatment. The patient is a young girl with a drug-resistant form of epilepsy.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Straits Times that the girl was not responding to existing forms of therapy or treatment.

Seeing no other way out, her doctor applied to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) to bring in a cannabinoid.

The medication is most likely Epidiolex, which is the only one the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved.

The doctor had to submit all the necessary clinical evidence before receiving the medication, which he probably administered within the past year.

Singapore remains very strict

This may be one of the only times where the Singapore authorities approve the use of such a drug for treatment.

In June this year, MHA and HSA reiterated that the exceptional use “comes under strict frameworks and regulations and does not diminish the country’s zero-tolerance position against drugs.”

So as it is, Singapore remains very strict on this issue.

While there may be room for negotiation when it comes to medical purposes, a stringent check remains necessary to ensure no abuse.

To that end, recreational use of the plant will most likely remain a no-no under Singapore’s laws. The authorities are notoriously strict on drug abuse after all.

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That being said, we hope this landmark move has benefitted the girl and helped manage her epilepsy.

Featured image adapted from WebMD.