Marijuana plant (Reuters image) | Cannabis Oil
MANILA, Philippines – Opinions are divided about the legalization of medical marijuana in the country.
Under the Philippines law, marijuana is considered a dangerous and illegal drug.
It requires a special permit from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be able to use it for medication.
But a health reform advocate believes that legalizing medical marijuana can be possible in the country but under proper and detailed regulations.
“Compassionate use sa FDA na iyong kunyari may sakit ka tapos hindi ka gumagaling dito and then iyong relative gusto. Doctor niya ang magre- request sa FDA at paratingin iyong gamut, let’s say, galing Canada para gamitin ito sa pasyente. Pero tayo hindi pa tayo nagma-market by law hindi pa kasi approved ang medical marijuana,” explained Dr. Anthonay Leachon.
Dr. Leachon noted that unlike cigarettes which are consumed by smoking or sniffing, marijuana needs a special process when use as medication.
“Dapat po oil or tablet. May forms po depende po kung ano ang doablity pero definitely hindi ito hihithitin,” he said.
Dr. Leachon added that medical marijuana is only given to terminally or seriously ill patients such as cancer or HIV-AIDS patients.
Filipina nurse Wendy said she observed an improvement in her son’s condition since he started using cannabis oil.
Wendy’s son who has non-verbal autism and hyperlexia, a condition characterized by strong decoding skills and delayed comprehension.
With the help of cannabis oil, Wendy said her son’s social skills improved.
He has started communicating and does eye-to-eye contact.
Wendy currently lives in the United States where medical marijuana is legal.
Despite seeing its benefits, Wendy believes a thorough study is still needed on the effects of medical marijuana to the human body.
“I agree that CBD oil use needs further research investigation, testing to prove its benefits and if its 100% effective and safe. It’s fairly new to the industry. As for us, the only proof we need to see is Spam developing as fast as he is right now. It greatly improved his quality of life even though he’s just 4 as well as ours,” Wendy said over the phone.
Health undersecretary Eric Domingo said recommendations to legalize the use of medical marijuana is still under study by the Department of Health (DOH).
In fact, they have started consulting experts on the matter.
“We need to collect scientific evidence before an official position is made. In the meantime, FDA accepts applications for compassionate use of unregistered drugs,” Domingo said.
Recently, the FDA received three applications to use medical marijuana, however Domingo said, they failed to fulfill the criteria set by the agency. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
Dengvaxia ban likely to extend for more than a year – DOH
FILE PHOTO: The controversial dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia
MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is likely to extend the ban on marketing and sales of Dengvaxia, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
December 29 this year marks the first year since the license of French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur was suspended; banning its sale of Dengvaxia in the country.
The DOH believes that since the controversy on the anti-dengue vaccine is not yet closed, the ban on sale of Dengvaxia still remains.
“Iyong one-year suspension ng Dengvaxia CPR is not yet lifted and I do not see it being lifted anytime soon. We still have a lot of pending issues with the vaccine and at this time we do not see it being registered and allowed for marketing in the Philippines…regulatory issues and cases in Court,” said DOH Spokesperson Usec. Eric Domingo.
It will be recalled that the FDA suspended Sanofi for not submitting its post-marketing authorization requirements which were supposed to prove that the products manufactured by the pharmaceutical company are safe to use.
Sanofi also couldn’t assure the safety of Dengvaxia, according to DOH.
The DOH noted that in November 29, 2017, Sanofi released a statement that Dengvaxia is not advisable to be administered to seronegative recipients —children or adults—who never had dengue infection prior to injection for the reason that their cases are likely to develop into severe dengue.
“It cannot be used without testing for children if they had dengue before. And there are no available testing kits commercially to do that. We don’t see naman any use for the vaccine at this time,” Domingo said.
The DOH also argued that the even regulatory agencies in the world that were granted with licenses to use Dengvaxia such as in Brazil, have set restrictions on the use of Dengvaxia on children who never had dengue infection prior to injection.
Hindi na rin sila magbibigay without screening,” Domingo said.
Based on the latest findings of the DOH, about 24 to 25 cases of dengue infection led to death due to severe dengue.
“We’ve seen talagang meron tayong patients who have, na ang mortality nila was due to severe dengue and I think probably from talagang seronegative patients iyon,” the health official said.
Meanwhile, the DOH is still waiting for the approval of Congress regarding the supplemental budget for vaccinees from the refund that Sanofi gave which reached P1.16-B.
Domingo said before the end of the year, the Office of the Solicitor General is likely to file a case against Sanofi Pasteur in line with the Dengvaxia controversy. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
PNP-AIDSOFT, tutol na gawing legal ang marijuana bilang medisina
FILE PHOTO: Medical marijuana is shown in a jar at The Joint Cooperative in Seattle. (Cliff DesPeaux / REUTERS)
MANILA, Philippines – Hindi sang-ayon ang Philippine National Police-Anti Illegal Drugs Operation Task Force (PNP-AIDSOTF) na gawing legal ang marijuana bilang medisina.
Ayon kay PNP-AIDSOTF legal officer Chief Insp. Roque Merdegia Jr., mas lalala ang problema sa marijuana sa bansa kung magiging legal ang paggamit nito kahit bilang medisina lamang.
“We support the stand of drugs board na kailangan pa talagang pag-aralan, kailangan pa talaga ng eksperimento, mga ebidensya doon sa medical use ng marijuana.”
Maging si Philippine College of Physician Vice Pres. Dr. Leandro Leachon ay hindi sang-ayon sa panukala dahil wala pa aniyang konkretong pag-aaral na nakagagaling ito ng sakit, at marami din itong side effects.
“Kasi kung higit yung danger kaysa sa benepisyo, bakit mo naman ibibigay sa tao ito,” pahayag ni Dr. Leachon.
Maging ang mga ordinaryong mamamayan ay hindi sang-ayon na gawing legal ang paggamit ng marijuana kahit sa ano pa mang kadahilanan.
Katwiran nila, tiyak na tataas ang bilang ng krimen kapag ginawang legal ang paggamit nito.
“Hindi po kasi maraming masisirang kabataan,” mariing pagtutol ni Esperanza Gargar.
Ayon naman kay Boy, “Mas lalala po ang krimen.”
Ang panukalang paggamit ng marijuana bilang medisina ni Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III ay umani na ng maraming batikos, hindi pa man ito naihahain sa kongreso. (Lea Ylagan / Ruth Navales, UNTV News)