With the popularity of CBD Oil and medical cannabis and the various benefits it offers patients, it is no shock that the highly-sought-after plant is now making its way to the different parts of the globe. As a result of federal legislative updates, medical cannabis and CBD Oil has been legally available in South Australia beginning November 2016. It is making its reputation locally as more and more physicians are starting to consider it as a beneficial drug to combat a wide array of chronic ailments. At the same time, more and more patients are willing to test it as a viable substitute for various long-term medication minus the negative side effects that many prescription medicines have.
Get to know how to legally get a prescription for medical cannabis in Adelaide and across South Australia and understand how to go about the forms and other legalities needed to be able to acquire CBD in SA.
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Accessing Medical Cannabis in South Australia
For regular medication and drugs, the attending physician or general practitioner may issue a prescription for the patient to be able to acquire medication at any chemist or pharmacy that is nearest to their locality. With medical cannabis, however, the steps in accessing any form of CBD is different.
Medical cannabis and all other CBD Oil products are categorised under unapproved therapeutic goods, hence they cannot be accessed easily just like common drugs and medication. Since 1 November 2016, prescription of Schedule 8, also known as S8), medical cannabis products for therapeutic use requires medical practitioners to acquire approval or submit a notification to both the concerned departments of South Australia Health and Commonwealth.
Here are the following procedures to be taken for patients accessing medical cannabis in Adelaide and across South Australia:
Step 1. The attending medical practitioner and the patient must reach a clinical decision to prescribe and use medicinal cannabis.
Clinical evidence and expert information regarding the benefits of medical cannabis must be discussed in detail between the two parties. The patient must express his or her willingness to try and use medicinal cannabis to treat his or her condition, which may be any of the following: multiple sclerosis, severe intractable epilepsy in children, and nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
Step 2. Determine the particular form and dosage of the medical cannabis best suited for the patient’s condition.
With a wide variety of cannabis available in the market, it is best to identify early on which route is ideal for its administration. Other considerations to be discussed by both the medical practitioner and the patient include formulation, cost, availability, and dosage regimen. It is important to consider choosing a drug that is readily available if it is considered to be taken for more than two months, as some forms and brands are imported and may be costly.
Step 3 Request for approval or notify the Commonwealth and South Australia Health.
For the Commonwealth approval or notification, the medical practitioner can use either the Special Access Scheme (SAS) or the Authorised Prescriber Scheme (AP). Both applications for either of the SAS and the AP can be lodged online. For State approval via South Australia Health, medical practitioners are to contact the Drugs of Dependence Unit or DDU to know the requirements and to access the needed forms.
Step 4. Prescription and dispensement of the medical cannabis product.
Using the prescription issued by the medical practitioner and approved by both the state and Commonwealth, the patient can obtain the prescribed cannabis product at the most convenient nearest pharmacy.
According to the Controlled Substances Act of 1984 in South Australian Legislation, prescription and supply of Schedule 8 medical cannabis is to be regulated. After two months of treatment with the prescribed medical cannabis and if the patient wishes to continue taking the said drug, a Section 18A Authority is needed before commencing with the treatment. Only the following are specifically exempted from Section 18A Authority:
● Patients 70 years of age or older
● Patients who are under Notified Palliative Care
● Patients who are not drug dependent, even after regular drug use for less than 2 months.
With the recent updates and advancements on accessing medical cannabis and CBD Oil in Adelaide and across South Australia, more patients can now opt for a natural approach when it comes to treating their conditions and symptoms. Together with the joined authorities of the Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration and the South Australia Department of Health, medical practitioners and patients alike are given a chance to legally access medicinal cannabis and to finally experience its benefits and advantages first hand.
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