New legislation has passed in Queensland which will make it far easier for chronic pain sufferers to acquire medical marijuana. The move will mean any registered medical practitioner, including GPs, can prescribe medical cannabis “if they believe it is clinically appropriate and have obtained the required Commonwealth,” as per Queensland Health.
Until last week, cannabis prescriptions could only be written by a select few specialist doctors, making it difficult for patients in need to access the drug. In addition, these specialists had to individually apply to the Therapeutic Goods Administration for each script. Not only was this process difficult for both patients and doctors, it could often take up to 10 days for an application to be approved.
“The TGAs tend to come through in a day….even less that a day now,” Des Harp, a medicine compounding pharmacist in Brisbane told 9News.
Worth noting: patients will still be required to try more conventional treatments before medical marijuana is recommended. That said, numerous studies suggest the drug can help with a number of issues including, multiple sclerosis, chemo-induced nausea and vomiting, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, endometriosis and some mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia.
And for those who don’t live in Queensland? Their GP will still need to apply to the TGA on their behalf, although it’s likely other states will follow suit.