Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, has welcomed simplified access to medicinal cannabis in New South Wales following the introduction of a single application process.
Instead of both the Commonwealth and NSW Health overseeing the approvals, NSW will rely on a single clinical assessment by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
This action ensures red tape will be reduced for both doctors and patients in the New England.
“It means NSW and the New England will have one of the quickest pipelines to appropriate medical access,” Mr Joyce said.
“We are committed to supporting doctors wanting to prescribe medicinal cannabis, making it easier for doctors to access those products more rapidly, while maintaining strict safeguards for individual and community safety.”
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the streamlined application process meant that doctors wanting to prescribe unregistered cannabis medicines would typically get approval within 36 hours.
“This approach by NSW to cut red tape and remove barriers is a template for other states to follow,” Minister Hunt said.
“Strong safeguards remain in place to access medicinal cannabis but this move ends a duplication of regulatory requirements.”
In an additional move to support both patients and manufacturers, the Coalition Government will now permit the export of Australian manufactured medicinal cannabis products as the expanding domestic industry is facing increasing competition from imports.
Allowing the export of medicinal cannabis products will help the developing domestic market to grow further but not at the expense of Australian patients.
It will be a condition of any licence authorising export that medicinal cannabis products be made available, when and if required, to Australian patients first.
Doctors can apply under the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Special Access Scheme Category or via an Authorised Prescriber to legally prescribe medicinal cannabis products.