The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) sets out the criteria for prescribing medicinal cannabis. The TGA regulates patient access to all medicines by classifying medicines into different categories known as Schedules. According the TGA website “Scheduling is a national classification system that controls how medicines and poisons are made available to the public. Medicines and poisons are classified into Schedules according to the level of regulatory control over the availability of the medicine or poison required to protect public health and safety. “
There are 10 distinct Schedules, with medicinal cannabis typically falling into Schedule 4 – Prescription Only Medicine, requiring a prescription from a doctor, and Schedule 8 – Controlled Drugs, requiring doctors to seek special permission to prescribe them.
One exception to this is products containing at least 98% Cannabidiol (CBD) of the total cannabinoid content and less than 2% of other cannabinoids (of which less than 1% is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC). Once approved, these can now be classified as Schedule 3 – Pharmacist Only Medicine, and be accessed over the counter.
Currently no medicinal cannabis products are available on the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme.
Medicinal cannabis does not include the recreational use of cannabis, which remains illegal in Victoria.
Are You Eligible to Receive Prescribed Medicinal Cannabis?
Patients must exhibit certain indications to be eligible for a Special Access Scheme (SAS-B) application. The medical condition must be diagnosed by a doctor.
Typically, a patient must have tried traditional treatment methods that have shown to be ineffective or created adverse side effects.
Your doctor will need to provide to the TGA appropriate clinical justification for your application to be successful. This will include details on the particular circumstances supported by appropriate evidence to show how you could benefit by using medicinal cannabis.
Health conditions that may be assisted through medicinal cannabis include:
In order to determine if medicinal cannabis is an appropriate medicinal course for your health condition please speak with your doctor. Should you wish to be put in touch with any of our own network of suitably qualified doctors please contact us directly.