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  • TONY RAGGATT, Townsville Bulletin

Townsville chemist gains approval to dispense first medicinal cannabis product

Matthew Calanna at the Kirwan Calanna Pharmacy. Picture: Evan Morgan A FORM of medical marijuana will soon be available from a Townsville chemist. Pharmacy group Calanna has confirmed its Kirwan outlet will dispense a medicinal cannabis product which has been approved by the Therapeutics Goods Association in Australia. The spray, called Sativex, is used to improve muscle stiffness for people with multiple sclerosis. Pharmacy owner Matthew Calanna said he understood his group was the first to gain approval for dispensing the product in North Queensland. He said the product would be available only by order and would not be stored on site. Getting access to other medicinal cannabis products will be difficult. Doctors will need the support of a specialist to apply to the TGA and provide evidence the product can treat them for a condition more effectively than other conventional medicines. Townsville doctor Kevin Arlett said prescriptions would more likely be a specialist area. “It would be really hard to get prescriptions,” Dr Arlett said. “You need to know an expert, a specialist, to agree the patient needs medicinal cannabis and you then need to provide evidence it’s going to work. I think palliative care is where it will have most use.” Mr Calanna said protocols were being developed for use of medicinal cannabis to treat people with multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, palliative care and chronic pain. Originally published here: http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/townsville-chemist-gains-approval-to-dispense-first-medicinal-cannabis-product/news-story/0a7dfbd48800a84abd6db99bda213dbc

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