Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome is a severe form of epilepsy that has no cure. Though rare, the tonic and atonic seizures it causes can lead to both physical and cognitive deterioration.
Mathias Alejandro Gonzalez, a 15-year-old living in Paraguay, has Lennox-Gastaut, as well as an autism spectrum disorder. His seizures weren’t responding to traditional pharmaceuticals, which his family must order from Spain at a large cost.
So his parents petitioned the Parguayan government for the ability to import Real Scientific Hemp Oil (RSHO), a non-psychoactive, CBD-rich oil produced by HempMeds, a subsidiary of Medical Marijuana, Inc. They were inspired by similar efforts by parents in Brazil.
And they won.
“We are extremely proud of the wonderful news that RSHO has been approved for import by the government of Paraguay,” says Dr. Stuart Titus, CEO of Medical Marijuana, Inc., in a press release “In the U.S., we enjoy the ability to easily access RSHO and many other CBD hemp oil products online. However, in other countries, we must respect their regulations and handling of cannabis-based products including hemp.”
While this is a boon for Gonzalez and his family, access to medicinal marijuana products is still extremely fluid in his home country. At the moment, anyone in Paraguay who can secure a doctor’s prescription for the hemp oil will be allowed to import it, but they need to be diagnosed with a very specific epileptic conditions. It’s different over in Brazil, Paraguay’s neighboring country, which has been importing the hemp oil since April 2014. There, RSHO is treated like a medication in the healthcare system, and therefore can be subsidized by the government. It can also be used to treat conditions like Parkinson’s disease and chronic pain, unlike the constraints currently set in Paraguay.
“The main question moving forward for Paraguay is whether the country will permit the import of RSHO for multiple medical indications the way Brazil now is,” adds Andrew Hard, CEO of CMW Media, the PR firm that represents Medical Marijuana, Inc. “And also whether the federal government’s healthcare system will subsidize the payments, the way that Brazil’s federal government is now treating RSHO shipments as well.”