Medicinal cannabis medicines can be prescribed for patients as a result of federal legislative changes which came into effect in November 2016.
Many prescribers and health professionals know little about the clinical application of medicinal cannabis for a number of reasons, including the scarcity of contemporary research in this area. Following systematic reviews by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and work across several Australian Universities to assess the clinical evidence for the use, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has published guidance documents to educate and inform health professionals who are interested in medicinal cannabis as a treatment option for their patients. These cover five particular clinical areas; specifically multiple sclerosis, chronic non-cancer pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in cancer, epilepsy and palliative care. There is also an overarching summary document for both health professionals and patients providing information about side effects of medicinal cannabis treatment and general cautions.
SA Health continues to aid awareness and education for health professionals and consumers through the provision of up-to-date and balanced information. You can find out more about prescribing medicinal cannabis in South Australia, and links to other resources such as fact sheets here.
The Commonwealth Department of Health invited HCA and a broad group of consumer representatives to engage in the Medicinal Cannabis consumer consultation, held in Melbourne on Thursday 18 May 2017.
Information was provided on medicinal cannabis government policy, and recent regulatory developments.
The review of clinical evidence for efficacy of medical cannabis was presented and the development of draft clinical guidelines for clinicians for the use of medicinal cannabis was discussed. The regulatory systems for patient access and patient access schemes were also discussed. The consultation provided the opportunity to raise issues, and for concerned patient groups to ask questions.
Consumers led a discussion about what information they need now and how best this should be communicated in a timely fashion.
You can find more information on Medicinal Cannabis on the Office of Drug Control website here.
HCA is exploring the opportunity of having a similar forum.
SA Health is committed to ensuring South Australians have access to the optimal range of safe and effective treatments and services to promote the best health outcomes for patients and the community
SA Health recently undertook public and targeted consultation about patient access to medicinal cannabis in South Australia. This took into account the national legislative framework established by the Commonwealth to facilitate appropriate patient access to certain medicinal cannabis products for medical conditions where there is evidence to support its use.
Following the consultation a patient access pathway for medicinal cannabis has been developed which is aligned with the existing legislated requirements for Schedule 8 medicines (noting one medicinal cannabis derivative, cannabidiol, is a Schedule 4 product and can be prescribed as such). Under the pathway, patients in South Australia can be supplied medicinal cannabis products prescribed by their medical specialist and dispensed by a pharmacist.
A section 18A authority from the Drugs of Dependence Unit (DDU) is only required for treatment longer than 2 months, or before commencing treatment where the person is already prescribed a Schedule 8 drug (for a period exceeding 2 months) and for any person the medical practitioner reasonably believes to be dependent on drugs.
Detailed information about the SA Health patient access pathway, the approval process, product information, evidence base and FAQs is available on the SA Health website here.
The final Oakden Response Report is now available. It provides a comprehensive record of the work undertaken by the Oakden Report Response Plan Oversight Committee, on which HCA was a member. The committee was established under recommendations outlined in the Oakden Report It is intended to provide a complete reference point for policy documents and guidelines created in response to the Oakden Report recommendations for use by SA Health staff and staff of partner organisations providing services to older people in South Australia. The document contains details of the work of the Committee and its subcommittees and complete copies of all relevant outputs. You can download the document below.
Monday 20 – Sunday 26 August 2018
Next week is Be Medicinewise Week. The theme this year is ''Our Families Matter'', so it’s important to make safe and wise decisions about medicines and health. No matter what type of medicines you or your family take, it’s important to know your medicines. If medicines aren’t used correctly, the results can be serious. You can find out more about being Medicinewise here.
HCA’s Chief Executive, Julia Overton was invited to attend a morning tea held in SA Parliament House and hosted by the Pelvic Mesh Awareness Group. The morning brought people with lived experience together with members of parliament, industry experts and SA health. Thank you to the mesh affected women who attended and shared their experiences with us.
There is a SA Health Transvaginal Mesh Strategy in place now which includes:
- a free consumer support line 1800 666 374, staffed 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday
- establishment of The Consumer Advisory Group
- distribution of information via GP newsletters
- commencement of medical record audit
- establishment of The Executive Advisory Group and Clinical Reference Group.
You can find out more here
Carers SA has released its Strategic Plan 2018-2019. This is an important document which will guide their work over the next 18 months and has been developed with input from the sector and staff. You can view the Plan on their website here.
Closes: 5pm Monday 27 August 2018
The South Australian Academic Health Science and Translation Centre is inviting applications for Rapid Applied Research Translation for Health Impact Grants through a funding allocation from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). This funding opportunity is presented in the context of the Medical Research and Innovation Strategy 2016 -2021 and Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2016-2018, as part of the Medical Research Future Fund. You can find out more in the Terms of Reference and download an application form below.
Wednesday 29 August 2018
1.30pm – 3.00pm
HCA in partnership with SA Health invites consumers to attend an information session to learn about the draft Equity and Access in Health Care Policy Directive for SA Health. Participants will have an opportunity to contribute their ideas and feedback on the Policy.
You can access the draft policy here.
You can register to attend the Forum here.
If you are unable to attend the Forum you can complete an online survey here.
Thursday 13 September 2018
9.15am – 12.30om
Thursday 27 September 2018
10am – 4pm
The annual Disability, Ageing and Lifestyle Expo will showcase practical ideas, research and initiatives under the ‘My Life, My Choice’ theme. My Life, My Choice, is about empowering individuals, couples and families to ensure that they remain at the centre of decisions related to their needs and provide information about the types of services and supports that are available to them. You can find out more here.
Friday 31 August 2018
8.30am - 5.00pm
The 9th National Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Australia Conference is hosted by the MND Association of South Australia and will be held at the Grand Chancellor Hotel. The Conference will promote the sharing of expertise and understanding of MND nationally, with the aim to improve care and support for people living with MND, their carers and families. You can find out more and register here.
Wednesday 12 September 2018
1.00pm – 4.30pm
Healthy Cities Onkaparinga is hosting a forum with the aim to establish a Food Security Collaborative for Onkaparinga. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss and provide their input on what should be included in the design of the Food Security Collaborative. There will be guest speakers and presentations, information stalls and light refreshments will be served. You can find out more and register here.