Yes XMS, I've had that type of reaction from Canadian doctors before. From my experience however, it seems that all doctors in Canada are reluctant to acknowledge any form of prescribed treatment for MS, Cannabis related or otherwise. But on with my rather lengthy rantings upon Sativex . . .
Sativex, perhaps the one best medication for MS symptoms that no suffering MS patient can ever receive.
I've had Remitting/Relapsing MS for the past 15 years, diagnosed right out of high school, and as a Canadian living with MS, I can attest that our public healthcare system is terminally ill.
As for Sativex, I've asked quite a few doctors about it, even presented them with the relevant literature. In turn, I've received some very disturbing responses, or excuses rather.
Former GP - Gave him one of the information pamphlets for Sativex, noting that a friend had it prescribed to him for chronic asthma, and a relative for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as well. Highlighted the portion that states 'intended for adults with MS'. GP had never heard of it before, said he could be sued if he talked about it, not for prescribing it, but just talking about it. When pressed for an answer, he could not identify this illusionary litigating party, simply responding 'Sorry, can't say.' He eventually dropped me as his patient, my never having received any treatment from him, not even for requested referrals to specialist, for which he could also be sued.
Perspective New GP's - They won't accept me as a patient for sake that they could get into a lot of trouble with the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons for accepting a patient with MS. Apparently, doctors can also have their medical licenses revoked for prescribing any Cannabis based medications, and even for accepting a new patient with a confirmed diagnosis of MS.
Walk-in Clinics - They claim Sativex requires special prescribing privileges because as a Canabinoid, it's technically illegal. Sativex currently holds the same narcotic scheduling (Schedule 2) as Tylenol 3 with Codine. Guess they're not much of a doctor if they can't prescribe T3, but can somehow prescribe Schedule 1 narcotics like morphine for accident victims, cocaine eye drops for glaucoma, Oxycotin/Oxycodone for bumps and bruises, and Aderal for energetic and rambunctious children. Of course, they can be sued by some undefinable medical malpractice plaintiff too.
Pain Therapist - If she were to prescribe it to me, then she'd have to prescribe it to everyone. Oddly, she tells me it would just be easier and cheaper for me to simply smoke pot, but again, will not endorse the Health Canada Medical Marijuana Access Forms because she'd have to do the same for everyone else, regardless.
Neurologist No. 1 - He's never heard of the stuff so he's reluctant to even discuss it. He did prescribe me Gabapentin once (which does nothing for me), but said that was the absolute most he could ever do.
Neurologist No. 2 - Works at an MS Clinic, also told me that smoking pot would be easier and cheaper for me. He can't prescribe me anything for personal, professional and legal reasons, and will not touch the Health Canada Medical Marijuana forms either.
Neurologist No. 3 - Works at an MS Clinic, claims that he does prescribe Sativex to his patients, but won't prescribe it to me. Insists that double blinded experimental trial study drugs are my only option. Then falsifies my medical records (which I have a copy of), claiming that he offered to prescribe me Sativex and that I refused. As both I and an impartial witness to that appointment recall, I requested Sativex from him and he refused. Also states in my records that I don't qualify for trial study medications, but on the next page states that I'm a perfect candidate for those same trial studies. My records further state that he's offered these trial medications to me (by name) on multiple occasions, but only ever vaguely states 'There's some very promising trail studies.', never to identify the title of those supposedly proposed experimental trials. I will respond 'No thank you.', as he retorts 'Sorry, can't help you with anything then.' with a smug little grin.
Neurologist No. 4 - Works at an MS Clinic too, yells and screams at me, accuses me of faking my symptoms, claims I've been prescribed a laundry list of medication, which I have not. Believes that Sativex is just like pot, though I can't imagine how one would ever smoke a liquid. Claims that from the thousand plus patients she has, that only 2 consume cannabis. Statistically impossible (when compared to survey figures), and especially so since I've conversed with several of her patients who have turned to Marijuana for the sole reason that she refuses to treat them.
Pretty twisted, the attitudes of Canadian doctors, considering MS affects more Canadians per capita that any other nationality in the world. Maybe it's something in the water up here (tasty), colder winters (chilly), all of the Uranium in the ground (largest deposits in the world), a conspiracy of moose and beaver (and or squirrel), or maybe we're just plain lucky (to live in Canada). But it's thoroughly insulting when every doctor I see will spout figures upon the devastating nature of MS, but not a single one will lift a finger to treat an MS patient.
Guess I'll just continue consuming the Cannabis I purchase at local Dispensaries in Vancouver, without the proper licensing and exemption from Health Canada. Should I ever face criminal prosecution for my unauthorized possession of that illegal plant matter, then I guess those doctors won't mind taking a day away from practice to sit in a court room, be called to the stand, grilled by my attorney, and have to testify, before a judge, that they cannot treat me for sake of possible medical malpractice litigation.
I wonder, when those doctors are unable to reasonably identify the litigating party who will sue them for prescribing Sativex, or for endorsing Cannabis through the Health Canada Medical Marijuana program, and when the judge orders them to answer, I wonder what they'll say. Perhaps they'll admit the truth, that their excuses of impending litigation are a suggested statements handed down to them by the medical college for purposes of dissuading patients from requesting certain medications and or treatments that the medical college does not agree with.
Honestly, I believe that the MS patients in Canada should unite to form our own coalition. I can't begin to describe the frustration involved, the denial, the apathy, and the ignorance of the MS Society, MLA and MP, social support services, all of them, either unwilling and or seemingly unable, perhaps incapable, to help anyone with MS. Can you imagine the impact we would have if united we a Canadians with MS clearly stated . . .
'No MS patient in Canada will engage in trail studies until such time that the government enacts
legislation that requires doctors to either treat their patients with the Health Canada approved medications they request, acknowledgement of health in relevant government forms for access to services for individuals with MS, and the necessary requirement that all doctors explain their specific reasoning for refusal of treatment in detailed written form. Give us that or every aspect of MS related research will grind to a halt in our country for simple sake that every single MS patient will refuse to submit to any form of MS research testing and or trial studies.'
That would put a great many doctors out of work near instantly. Government would be reluctant to fund MS research when there are no patients to research upon. It would force a great many doctor to concede and admit their faults in ignoring their patients. Pharmaceutical companies would beg for resolution as their profits begin to fade. It may even change the direction of MS research in Canada to one decided by patients, and not by scientists in laboratories nor the parasitic MS charities that use MS patients, along with their donations, to keep themselves employed as unaccomplished advocates.
We've all suffered with MS long enough. Perhaps suffering a little further may evoke some measure of change.