NSW doctors can now get approval to prescribe unregistered cannabis medicines from Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) within 36 hours.
TGA’s single application process will replace the previous approval process from the Commonwealth and NSW Health.
NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard said that this new application process provides a more streamlined and compassionate approach.
“A single approval process enables a focus on the world-leading clinical trials under the NSW Government’s $21 million invested into medicinal cannabis,” Mr Hazzard said.
“We are committed to supporting doctors wanting to prescribe medicinal cannabis,” he added.
Currently, the only cannabis medicine on the TGA’s register is called ‘Sativex’. This also requires a NSW authority for doctors to prescribe it, same as other schedule 8 drug.
TGA has already released a national evidence review for the use of cannabis medicines, in areas of palliative care, nausea and vomiting, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and pain.
This initiative will commence in the coming weeks.
Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt said that this process to cut red tape and remove barriers should become a template for other States.
“Strong safeguards remain in place to access medicinal cannabis but this move ends a duplication of regulatory requirements,”Mr Hunt said.
“It means NSW will have one of the quickest pipelines to appropriate medical access,” he added.
In addition, the $6 million NSW Cannabis Medicines Advisory Service was opened in January to provide expert clinical guidance to NSW doctors.
Lois Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
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