The Politics of Pain - Muscular Dystrophy Queensland

From our community

Thoughts on equitable access to pain management, from one of our Community Members, Peter Slade.

The Politics of Pain

I have a cluster of physical conditions, including a neuro muscular disease, that are the root cause of chronic and debilitating pain. I’m in palliative care where there are outstanding medical and nursing people who do a lot help me maintain a degree of equilibrium and some peace.


Pain killers are prescribed, such as panadol, which keeps so called background pain in check, as well as oxycodone and sometimes morphine which are much more powerful and very effective. These last two have undesirable marked and sharp side effects, the worst being mental fog and the potential of addiction. So life is a juggling act. Reducing pain whilst minimising more damage to my existence.

A while ago the Queensland government legislated for the controlled growing of cannabis and the prescribing and dispensing of CBD oil under restricted circumstances. This, I applaud.

Unfortunately, the restricted circumstances include a labyrinthine bureaucracy, no medicare coverage for patients who are approved users of cannabis, and a couple of up front costs amounting to hundreds of dollars.

Consequently, aside from the upfront costs, the price of a 40 ml bottle of CBD oil is about twice the price of 40 mls in the black market, at around $200. Obviously, reform has not gone far enough, and politicians apparently have no notion of economics. I’ve found that CBD oil doesn’t cause brain fog and the likelihood of addiction is vastly reduced.

Can some sense be injected into this situation? Please.

From our Community Member, Peter Slade.

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