Big changes are happening in the world of medical cannabis. It is a hot topic, with the news of Canada legalising cannabis across the board on October 17, 2018. There is movement around the world, including medical cannabis being available on prescription in England, Wales, Scotland and England from November 1, 2018.
In Australia, medical cannabis was legalised in 2016 and a 2015 Roy Morgan survey showed 91 per cent of Australians agreed that the use of cannabis for medical purposes should be legal. Interestingly, the strongest support came from those aged 50-plus, with 94 per cent in support.
Medical cannabis products are now available for doctors to prescribe in Australia, although they are currently considered ‘unregistered medicines’, requiring the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in the Department of Health to approve prescription requests.
The TGA has approved applications for the use of medical cannabis products including, but not limited to, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, refractory paediatric epilepsy, palliative care indications, cancer pain, neuropathic pain, spasticity from neurological conditions, anorexia and wasting associated with chronic illness (such as cancer).