Suffering from multiple sclerosis, Françoise Maillard has long struggled to make Sativex available at last.
This cannabis-based medicine is intended for patients resistant to conventional treatments. He she tells us of her fight.
“The diagnosis came down twenty years ago, I was already 44 years old, with signs of the disease for several years: unexpected falls, pain that I put on the account of sciatica. Neglecting one’s own health, I treated it with corticosteroids until the day when, faced with the obvious, I consulted a friend neurologist at the hospital of La Pitié-Salpêtrière, in Paris. One lumbar puncture later, I was officially diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.“
It has, of course, changed my life. Not immediately, but little by little because this disease makes you lose mobility.
At first, we stagger but we hang in to walls, we restore the balance. Then comes the day when one resolves to buy a cane, then a wheelchair, to continue to go out, not to stay stuck at home. I am not the type to cry about my fate: life goes on. But I continue to sitting rather than stand. I still go out, I go to the theater, to the restaurant. The difference is that I can no longer catch a train on the fly, nor decide in the morning to go to Marseille in the afternoon. I must anticipate everything: will the platform of the station be equipped with a ramp? The theater of a handicapped access?
My MS makes great spasticity
I am one of a few thousand patients who have significant spasticity (less painful contractures of the lower limbs) not responding to baclofen and that therapeutic cannabis can relieve. Sativex, a drug containing two cannabinoids, was granted marketing authorization in January 2014 but is still not marketed in France. More recently, last December, a committee of experts set up by the National Agency for Drug Safety (ANSM) considered it “relevant to allow the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes in certain indications“. A great advance! It was urgent to get out of this aberrant logic.
For years, I regularly travel to Switzerland to get my supply, outside of law to buy this drug already authorized in most of Europe.
And this, because the CEPS (Economic Committee for Health Products) and the laboratory that has the license could not find an agreement on its marketing price.
I have participated in many debates on the subject, engaged in the French League Against Multiple Sclerosis, and I still do not understand where is the point of blocking this medicine. What is certain is that this ubiquitous situation has lasted long enough. I am fortunate to have a medical contact in Switzerland who prescribed me Sativex. I feel “privileged” to benefit from this medicine.
Some people, like me with multiple sclerosis, smoke regularly.
But that supposes, already, to know how to smoke! Which was not my case. When I tried, it was a failure. My son said to me: “It’s normal, you cough! “. And I had never rolled a joint of my life … Then I tried a “space cake”, a cake prepared by a cook, according to the precise indications of one of my acquaintances. An excellent brownie, by the way! I am unbeatable today on the subject.
We can’t control the percentage of TCH
On the internet, we find everything about Marrakech butter and the best recipes for herbal teas, decoctions and other preparations. The problem is that we do not control the dosage of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), one of the two molecules present in cannabis, responsible for its euphoric effects. The first three nights, it did not do anything to me. I swallowed it at home, always in the presence of a loved one. And the fourth night, surprise, I took off! I do not know if I came across a clump of cannabis, but I understood what “hovering” meant … I think it was that day that I resolved to go and get some Sativex from abroad. If all the protocols for delivering the plant as a drug result, as we hope, it will greatly simplify things. Cannabis will finally be available in several forms (capsules? Tisanes?) And sold in pharmacies. From then on, patients will no longer need to cross the border to relieve their pain.
Article translated from French from TopSante.com