What dose should I prescribe?
Pre-defined dosages for the medicinal use of cannabis have not been established. The standard recommendation however is to start at a low dose and to allow the patient to slowly self-titrate to therapeutic effect. If intolerable side-effects occur, patients can stop therapy or reduce their dose. Please see blog/content on dosing for further information
How do I know which formulation to choose?
Most of the medicinal cannabis formulations currently available in Australia have not been TGA approved for a particular indication. As such, we must look to the literature for guidance. Please refer to our conditions section to view a summary of the current available data.
Who pays for product?
The medicinal cannabis formulations available are not registered in Australia (not ARTG listed). They are also not listed on the PBS. The patient will have to pay for the therapy themselves unless the doctor/hospital has arranged for funding.
I have the required approvals, now what?
All medicinal cannabis is dispensed through a nominated pharmacy. If the pharmacist has not yet been involved in the process, the prescribing doctor can contact the pharmacy or the supplier and pharmacist can coordinate with one another to organise the shipping and delivery of the product.
What should I include in my SAS B application?
1. A completed SAS B form (inclduing details of the patient's treatment history, clear dosing instructions, prescriber details and signature).
2. Details on how you intend to monitor the patient, for example, a scaled symptom assesment, regular contact with treating physician to monitor side effects and to advise on dose titration etc.
3. Published literature/human clincial trial data can also be included to support your application.
I am a Pharmacist/Nurse, can I submit a SAS B on behalf of the treating physician?
Yes. The SAS B form has a section for "submitter details" if a healthcare professional other than the doctor is submitting the application.
I am a GP, can I apply for approval for my patient?
Yes. However, the TGA or State DHHS may require a letter of support from a Specialist in the primary indication, ie. if the application is for chronic non-cancer pain, a letter from a pain specialist may be requested. This letter of endorsement should clearly state that the Specialist supports the use of [PRODUCT NAME] medicinal cannabis drug in patient [PATIENT INITIALS] for the treatment of [CONDITION NAME], and should be submitted along with the SAS B application. If the patient lives in a remote area and does not have access to a Specilaist then the GP should include this in the applcation for the TGA to take into account.
How can I access medicinal cannabis in Australia?
Please see our blog on ths topic for details on how healthcare professionals can gain access to medicinal cannabis for their patients.
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