Ever since the landmark decision by the federal government to legalise medical marijuanas in NSW and the rest of the country, the narrative of the once stigmatised treatment avenue is changing irrevocably for the better.
For many proponents and champions for reform and continued support of medical marijuanas in NSW, the battle is far from over. There are still several hurdles for prescribers and suppliers to jump over in the process of prescribing medicinal cannabis. That being said, recent changes in the legislation have allowed easier access and streamlined online prescriptions for medical marijuanas in NSW.
While there is still a way to go before the stigma is cleansed, there are some hopeful signposts on the horizon with expanded access, more research into the potential alleviations of medical marijuanas in NSW, and more political interest in the industry.
This article will be going over a few of the more interesting developments being made in the industry, and the state of the industry for those in New South Wales.
The Current Process To Access Medical Marijuanas In NSW
Contrary to popular belief, there is no predetermined list of conditions for patients and physicians, each ailment and prescription is analysed and looked at in a case-by-case basis. The tight restrictions in the state pertaining to the prescription of medical marijuanas in NSW has caused some slowing down in progression in the state, as it is a schedule-8 substance, access is heavily regulated.
Prescribing physicians will have to submit an application to the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) prior to prescribing an unapproved medication. This avenue of access is also referred to as the Special Access Scheme (SAS) and is the main reason that medical marijuanas in NSW and the rest of the country have become more accessible and reliably prescribed safely and effectively.
There are a number of extenuating circumstances that may necessitate prescribing physicians to obtain more stringent approvals by a governing body prior to prescribing. The full list of circumstances for this can be found here.
After approval has been given to the prescribing physician by the Health Department and/or the TGA, patients can then receive their prescription and begin their treatment.
Clinical Trials Currently Being Run
The state government has committed just under $10 million towards clinical trials and studies revolving around the practicalities and utilities of medical marijuanas in NSW. The studies are varied across different channels and seek to uncover more information and data pertaining to the efficacy of the substance in certain conditions.
Some of these interesting trials include:
A trial in association with the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network in studying cannabis’ impact on treatment-resistant epilepsy in children.
Prevention of chemotherapy-related nausea and discomfort in adult patients where traditional medicines have failed.
Improving of appetite in adult palliative care patients who are suffering with advanced forms of cancer.
Examinations into whether medical marijuanas in NSW are effective in reducing chronic pain in spinal cord injury patients and determining mechanisms responsible for neuropathic pain.
Having clinical trials be conducted by the governing body in association with healthcare agencies gives more weight to the cause and also stands to give sufficient solid evidence into the true efficacy and potential utility of medical marijuanas in NSW.
To The Future
We are all looking forward to seeing what exciting new developments come from the continuing trials and further support in the general community for the substance. Hopefully, the more money that flows into these trials, the brighter the future will look for sufferers, patients, suppliers, and prescribing physicians of medical marijuanas in NSW.