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QLD: Australia’s first medicinal cannabis clinical guidelines released

Queensland doctors now have access to Australia’s first medical practitioner guidance document which will assist them to safely prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients. Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said the guidance documents were another step forward in providing safe, controlled access to medicinal cannabis under the nation’s most progressive medicinal cannabis laws. “Through legislation our Government has provided a legitimate pathway for Queensland patients of any age and with a range of conditions to access legal medicinal cannabis products,” Mr Dick said.

“That legislation requires the use of medicinal cannabis to be overseen by a medical practitioner, to ensure the right monitoring and controls are in place.

“Until now, health practitioners have had to access multiple sources of literature for guidance. Minister Dick said while medical practitioners are familiar with conventional treatment methods, the use of medicinal cannabis is an emerging treatment area for a range of conditions and until now, practitioners have had to access international literature for guidance. “That’s why we have developed documents which provide a starting points for health practitioners who have not had experience with medicinal cannabis products. “These new Guidance documents provide health practitioners with information about what is allowed to be prescribed, the form it will come in and information about dosing and direction on the best sources of information that can be obtained in relation to medicinal cannabis prescribing. “Importantly, the documents will give doctors the confidence to consider the use of medicinal cannabis as part of the treatment plan for their patients, and ensure they do so in a safe way.” Mr Dick said he was delighted health practitioners and their patients would now have access to thorough, consistent and easy to access information on this important topic. “Three key documents will help guide clinicians through the process of consulting, prescribing and supplying medicinal cannabis to those who need it most,” he said. The three documents now available are: - The Clinical Guidance: For the use of Medicinal Cannabis Products, which covers clinical topics such as treatment options for doctors to use in discussions with their patients; - The Medicinal Cannabis Access and Use in Queensland will clarify the process for access to medicinal cannabis, who can prescribe it, how to apply for approvals and monitoring and reporting requirements; and, - The Standard for Security of Medicinal Cannabis Stock, to ensure health care professionals are aware of the requirements for storing and securing their medicinal cannabis stock. These documents were developed in conjunction with key stakeholders including the Australian Medical Association Queensland and experts across pharmacy, addiction medicine, academia, general practice and medicinal cannabis research groups. The guidance documents are being distributed to key stakeholders and the Department of Health is providing face-to-face meetings and webinars for health practitioners, hosted by the Australian Medical Association of Queensland.

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