Cannabis company establishes advisory board
A Katikati-based medicinal cannabis firm has formed a Clinical Advisory Board to seek advice from key medical professionals in order to ensure products meet the needs of doctors, pharmacists and patients.
The CAB committee is comprised of senior figures across a range of medical backgrounds who will work alongside key Eqalis Pharmaceuticals team members.
Eqalis Managing Director Greg Misson says the CAB will enable Eqalis to engage directly with doctors and develop a deeper understanding of the issues they face in prescribing medicinal cannabis.
“It will help provide us with an insight into prescriber thinking and streamline our processes to tailor the efficacy of our products for patients.”
Specific training modules in speciality areas such as paediatrics, palliative care and acute post-operative care are being developed using the expertise of the CAB members.
“We’re hearing from GPs that they just need time to engage with this new drug.
“Our training modules are designed to fast-track their study and, along with the advice provided by our CAB, we hope confidence in medicinal cannabis will increase.”
Since the legalisation of medicinal cannabis in April this year, uptake amongst the nation’s health professionals has been slow, says a statement from Equalis.
“Patient safety is a priority for all in the medical fraternity and cannabis is an extremely complex medicine.”
The right combination of specific compounds of the cannabis plant, predominantly CBD, provides safe, effective, non-opioid pain relief to a wide spectrum of patients, says the medicinal cannabis company.
The more controversial THC compound is a psychoactive component that gets recreational users high in one instance but can also be employed as a successful medicine for a range of clinical outcomes.
Eqalis Pharmaceuticals Chief Medical Officer Elizabeth Plant says engaging with the medical fraternity is essential to understanding key patient-related issues.
“The committee will be key to ensuring clinical-related decisions are made with appropriate peer review and that future training programmes are developed with expert input.
“They have the expertise and the practical experience necessary to provide this oversight and, as each member of the committee works in a different area of medicine, they all bring a different patient perspective.”
As Eqalis Pharmaceuticals works towards producing locally-grown medicinal cannabis, Misson believes the positive clinical outcomes from this emerging drug field will become commonplace.
“We’ve already seen patients achieving significant relief from life-long, debilitating conditions with precise formulations prescribed under the care of experienced medical practitioners. It’s exciting to think that these successes can be multiplied to thousands of New Zealanders in the coming years.
“Another key focus for Eqalis is to drive the cost of the medication down to a more affordable level for our patients. We feel this needs to be below $100 a month,” says Misson.
“Our interest is the same as the medical fraternity’s - we want to see the lives of people enhanced.”
To learn more about Eqalis visit www.eqalis.co.nz
The committee will comprise of:
Dr Raimond Jacquemard: A Paediatrician based at Taranaki DHB
Dr Murray Hunt: The Medical Director at Waipuna Hospice in Tauranga who has previous experience working in Alcohol and Drug Services
Dr Mark Wardill: An Anaesthetist based at Grace Hospital, a private hospital in Tauranga
Dr Mark Hotu: A GP who has established the Green Doctors, a clinic focusing on prescribing cannabis
Nigel Gregory: A community Pharmacist who owns Brookfield Pharmacy in Tauranga
Elizabeth Plant: A Pharmacist and the Chief Medical Officer of Eqalis Pharmaceuticals