How can I get Medical Cannabis?
In Australia there are currently three limited pathways that patients can use to access medicinal cannabis-based treatments.
SPECIAL ACCESS SCHEME (SAS)
The SAS refers to arrangements which provide for the import and/or supply of an unapproved therapeutic good for a single patient, on a case by case basis. Patients are grouped into two categories:
- Category A patients are defined as 'persons who are seriously ill with a condition from which death is reasonably likely to occur within a matter of months, or from which premature death is reasonably likely to occur in the absence of early treatment'.
- Category B patients are all other patients that do not fit the Category A definition.
AUTHORISED PRESCRIBER SCHEME
There are circumstances where patients may require access to medicines or medical devices that have not been approved for supply by the TGA. In these circumstances a medical practitioner may be granted authority to become an authorised prescriber of a specified unapproved therapeutic good (or class of unapproved therapeutic goods) to specific patients (or classes of recipients) with a particular medical condition.
MEDICAL CANNABIS CLINICAL TRIALS
There is currently several different medical cannabis clinical trials occurring across Australia. The trials being conducted are looking into and documenting the medical efficacy of different medical cannabis preparations and compounds. Some of the conditions for which trials are currently planned or in progress include: Epilepsy (children & adults), and Cancer (chemo induced side effects), Botanical Medical Cannabis for Palliative care.