Medicinal cannabis guidance documents available

11 Jan 2018

The Federal government recently released guidance documents for health care professionals in prescribing medicinal cannabis. They provide clinical information on the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis and guidance for its use in treating symptoms for a number of conditions.

These documents assist prescribers of medicinal cannabis in having access to up-to-date information when making the decision about patient treatment options. Medicinal cannabis should be used to treat symptoms on a case-by-case basis and these documents help patients and GPs decide if it is an effective option for the circumstances. The documents cover five areas: multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic pain, palliative care and chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting. An additional document provides a broad overview, and a consumer-oriented brochure has also been developed for distribution.

A range of organisations from across Australia were involved in developing the guidance documents, including:

  • 18 patient and consumer representative groups
  • all state and territory health departments
  • 15 health care professional organisations
  • clinical staff from 29 hospitals and health care systems
  • 14 outpatient/primary health networks.

The documents have been endorsed by the Australian Advisory Council on the Medicinal Use of Cannabis. Trials are currently underway in Australia and overseas and these documents will be updated as new evidence emerges.

To access the guidance documents and for more information on medicinal cannabis products visit the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s website.