A 2015 executive order signed by Governor Otter made it possible to conduct a trial compassionate use program for 25 children with severe, intractable epilepsy. The medication used is Epidiolex, a synthetic, non-psychoactive form of marijuana that is manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals in the UK. The trial has proven to be a success.
Due to the success, an expansion of the program is being requested, according to The Spokesman-Review. Extending the program would allow an additional 15 children to participate. There is a waiting list for this program, so those on it would fill the spaces.
Elke Shaw-Tullock, of the Division of Public Health, said, “The program is being conducted in concert, on a national basis, with a clinical trial. We are seeing some great progress.”
Eipidiolex is provided to the clinical trial program at no cost. GW Pharmaceuticals expects to gain FDA approval within two years. Governor Otter supports the approval of $128,600 to fund the program, which would come from state funds. Approval of the extension of the compassionate use program has not taken place yet.