Patients in Australia can now have easier access to medicinal cannabis products on prescription. We wanted to give you a clearer insight into how to access medical cannabis and Endoca CBD Oil.
Prior to Endoca’s partnership with The Hydroponics Company (THC Pharma) its products have not been available in Australia due to the countries strict regulations on medicinal cannabis products; the prohibited drug classification of cannabis has meant that the distribution and access of CBD Oil has not been possible. THC Pharma will now import and supply Endoca CBD oil for medicinal use in Australia, which will be available in pharmacies with a prescription.
How Can Patients Access Medical Cannabis?
Patients in Australia will now be able to access Endoca CBD Hemp Oil and other medical cannabis products through the new Special Access Scheme (SAS). To gain a prescription of CBD Oil in this manner, you should speak to your doctor about the scheme.
From July 31, 2018, as part of the SAS, The Medicinal Cannabis Medicines Portal (MCMP) provides digital access and registration to doctors and paients. It’s still in the very embryonic stages, so the stats regarding the number of doctors who will register remains to be seen, it is hoped that the ease this portal aims to create will encourage more and more practitioners to register.
The promise of greater access to medicinal cannabis through the SAS sees a big step forward in patients being able to have the cannabis access they need, at present these are the following steps in which you can access medical cannabis in Australia:
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Medical practitioners can be given the authority as an 'Authorised Prescriber.' This gives them the ability to prescribe unapproved therapeutic goods, in this case, medical cannabis, to a specific patient.
It is currently thought that there are only a small number doctors that can do this, it is reported that there were just 23 in 2017, with 21 of those being in New South Wales and two in Queensland.
To get access to cannabis products or become a local prescriber, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website lists all information for each territory and state.
- Special Access Scheme SAS
This scheme was set up to streamline the system of prescribing medical cannabis for healthcare professionals to patients. It allows doctors with the permission of the TGA to prescribe unapproved therapeutic products.
- Who can receive medical cannabis through this scheme is at the discretion of your registered doctor. For access to doctors that can prescribe under this scheme, you can find them through The Medicinal Cannabis Medicines Portal (MCMP) website.
- Each case is assessed on an independent basis and there is no one size fits all result to the process. The scheme works in various ways and takes into account the individual circumstances of the patients when determining access to medical cannabis.
There are currently five indications that are given by the Commonwealth Department of Health of Australia:
- Epilepsy- in paediatric and young adult patients in Australia
- Treatment of Multiple sclerosis
- Use of medicinal cannabis for the prevention or management of nausea and vomiting
- Chronic non-cancer pain
- Palliative care patients
- Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are one of the reasons that medical cannabis has seen such a fast route to legalization, as anecdotal evidence and lab-based studies have reported encouraging results. These are conducted by scientists and researcher teams and can be sponsored by those who supply the therapeutic goods for trials.
Each case is assessed on an independent basis and doctors will use the guidelines highlighted above to make their decisions. There is no one size fits all result to the process. The scheme works in various ways. However, practitioners are able to grant patients access to medicinal cannabis, based on who they identify as suffering from a serious illness and receives approval from the TGA, also where they see significant evidence that the effects of CBD will help.
Having access to the MCMP will enable patients that don’t have doctors in their area that prescribe medical cannabis to have access to a list of doctors that do. This gives patients somewhere to turn if their own doctor is uncertain about prescribing.
Pharmacies that dispense CBD and medicinal cannabis are subject to a maximum price per Medicinal Cannabis product; your pharmacist will be able to confirm the price for you, and your doctor will also be able to advise the maximum price for the appropriate medication during your consultation and advise which pharmacies in your area dispense CBD and medicinal cannabis.
Who can Access Endoca Products?
The path to medical cannabis is being laid, but it can be heavily regulated, very long and incredibly frustrating for patients to navigate. Despite the lengthy application procedures, and sometimes reluctance of doctors to prescribe medical cannabis, the health secretary confirmed earlier this year that there was “now no real government barriers at all to accessing medicinal cannabis”.
The SAS allows doctors to decide who will be eligible based on whether they believe it is clinically appropriate, relevant and is approved by the TGA under their guidelines.
There are currently five indications that the Commonwealth Department of Health, in conjunction with the state and territory governments, has worked on to develop the clinical guidance documents that help prescribers of medicinal cannabis know how to decide.
What this Means for the Industry in Australia?
The industry of medicinal cannabis has seen seismic, shifts in the last few years. Not long ago medical cannabis in Australia was considered a Schedule 9 drug (a prohibited substance). Now, both medicinal cannabis and the cannabinoid CBD have been made legal with a prescription. CBD now exist with an even lower Schedule 4 classification.
Why our Partnership is so Important?
Australia’s laws have lead to heavy regulations of the distribution of medical cannabis; this makes access to CBD and medicinal cannabis, and even CBD Hemp Oil, incredibly frustrating and only possible via prescription. The digitizing of the SAS platform is a step forward in increasing accessibility to patients, but medical cannabis still faces a lot of challenges in Australia.
Our partnership at least means patients in Australia can now have access to organic, GMP certified CBD Hemp Oil at a greater convenience.
Though the future of CBD and medical cannabis is uncertain, the only thing that is clear is that attitudes and legislation is changing.