Most cannabis products in Australia are currently classified as unapproved products and are not available as registered prescription medicines which means doctors need to take some additional steps to prescribe the medication.
There are several ways that patients with a diagnosed medical condition can access medicinal cannabis even though it is an unapproved product in Australia.
Before you consider this treatment option, you should be aware that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) advises medical cannabis is not a first line treatment. This means cannabinoid therapy can only be used after registered prescription medicines have been unsuccessful or caused unacceptable adverse effects, except in the case of patients in palliative care.
Step by Step Guide
Accessing medicinal cannabis is regulated through the Special Access Scheme by the TGA. This pathway allows doctors to prescribe the product based on their clinical judgement on a patient to patient basis. Special Access Scheme (SAS) Category B is the most common and quickest pathway a medical practitioner can take to prescribe a medicinal cannabis product to a single patient. All of the prescriptions are subject to approval by the TGA and relevant state health authorities (if applicable), however this will all be handled by your doctor during your consultation.