Where are we up to with medicinal cannabis?

 

Is it legal?    

Medical practitioners in Australia can legally prescribe medicinal cannabis through regulated pathways such as the Special Access Scheme Category B and the Authorised Prescriber Scheme. These pathways are typically used by doctors for unapproved medicines.

Dr Vicki Kotsirilos, Victorian GP and Integrative Medicine Practitioner, became Australia’s first authorised GP prescriber of medicinal cannabis in May 2018. She said recently that GPs currently have ‘a large demand’ for knowledge about the use of medicinal cannabis. Dr Kotsirilos says there is a lack of knowledge about the clinical usage of medicinal cannabis which stems from a lack of formal education and upskilling available to GPs.

‘We need regular top-ups of education because the science actually changes every day and there’s new studies that come out all the time,’ she said. ‘Because it is a plant medicine, it’s not part of our curriculum, so all the learning is self-taught.’

 What is it currently prescribed for?

The main medical conditions for which medicinal cannabis is prescribed in Australia to date are:

  • chronic non-cancer pain
  • epilepsy
  • multiple sclerosis
  • palliative care including cancer pain management
  • cancer-related nausea and vomiting.

Is it available at Wholistic Medical Centre?

We are very fortunate that Dr Amy Gajjar, who had already begun upskilling in the use of medicinal cannabis, has been invited to participate in a conference in Montreal, Canada, taking place as this newsletter goes to ‘print’. So, watch this space if you believe that you have a need for medicinal cannabis.

Medical cannabis for period pain? Would you like to have your say?

Development of a clinical trial on medicinal cannabis for primary dysmenorrhoea: Co-Design.’

Researchers from NICM Health Research Institute would like to invite women who suffer from ‘primary dysmenorrhoea’, that is period pain not due to endometriosis or adenomyosis, to participate in an on-line focus group to have your say in how clinical trials should be designed to be relevant and well-structured. Read the participant information at https://nicm.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/1615795/Participant_Information_Sheet_MC_and_Period_pain_V2.pdf

Or ask our wonderful Reception Team at the Wholistic Medical Centre for more details.