Phone: 08 8231 4169 | Email: info@hcasa.asn.au | Find HCASA on FacebookFollow HCASA on Twitter

Phone: 08 8231 4169
Email: info@hcasa.asn.au
Find HCASA on FacebookFollow HCASA on Twitter

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Consumers at the centre of health
in South Australia

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.

 

 

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.

Medical practitioners should contact the DDU on 1300 652 584 to discuss the specific authority requirements or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Until medicinal cannabis products are registered medicines in Australia, Commonwealth approval is also necessary via the TGA (Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Phone: 1800 020 653)

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 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.

Latest news

HCA 2018 Election Platform

Health Consumers Alliance of SA Inc is the state’s peak health consumer body. Our members, partners and consumer advocates have identified priorities for action to ensure consumers are at the centre of health in South Australia. They want health policy based on evidence, research and consumer input at all stages to improve health outcomes and reduce costs. You can find the HCA 2018 Election Platform and Background below. 

HCA 2018 Election Platform

HCA 2018 Election Platform Background

HCA Board Chair participating in Collaborative Pairs Australia

Beginning soon as a national trial in Australia, the Collaborative Pairs Australia program is bringing together health providers and consumers to develop their teamwork skills, to lead change and improve health and wellbeing outcomes. The program will deliver leadership training to participants who enrol as consumer-clinician pairs in four regions, and support them to implement localised health service improvement and innovation projects. HCA Board Chair Deb Kay is one of the program facilitators. Deb is optimistic about the potential of this project to build the capacity and expertise of consumers and health professionals to work in genuine partnership. You can find more information on the program and Deb’s participation here.

HCA February 2018 Board Update

At the HCA Board meeting on 5 February 2018, members discussed a range of topics, including changes to Board membership, progress in recruiting a new HCA Chief Executive, and the HCA 2018 Election Platform. You can read the Board Update here.

Consumer Advocates Network Meeting

Last Tuesday we hosted our first Consumer Advocates Network (CAN) meeting for 2018. At each meeting of the CAN, we include a specific topic for discussion or learning. The topic for the February meeting was the SA Translation Centre, with guest speaker Jenni Carr. All members of the CAN network have completed our Introduction to Consumer Advocacy Training course. You can find out more about the training and scheduled training dates for 2018 here.

Oakden Response Plan Oversight Committee: February Communique

The SA Health Oakden Response Plan Oversight Committee was established in June 2017 to provide oversight and guidance to SA Health in implementing the six recommendations outlined in the Oakden Report. Following each meeting, a communique summarising the activities of the committee is published. The February 2018 communique has been published and is available to view here. You can view all available communiques here.


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Events

Inspiration for Innovation Symposium: The Health Priority Network

Thursday 1 March 2018

9.30am – 1.30pm
Torrensville

The Adelaide Primary Health Network (PHN) is hosting an Inspiration for Innovation Symposium at the Thebarton Community Centre, with the aim to encourage community members to join their Health Priority Network. The Network provides a platform to share ideas and work together to improve a person’s primary health care journey. The symposium will explore opportunities for improving:

• health promotion and health literacy
• mental health, alcohol and other drugs, and physical
health issues
• equity and access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander communities.

You can find out more and register to attend here.

Health Project Management Community of Practice

Wednesday 4 April 2018
5.30pm – 7.00pm
Adelaide

The Australian Institute of Project Management is hosting an event on health project management, the first event in a series. Registered participants will explore the challenges in project management in health. Guest Speaker Professor Judith Dwyer, Director of Research in the Department of Health Care Management at the Flinders University School of Medicine, will present ideas formed in the course of her working life in healthcare management. Participants will be encouraged to contribute their perspectives and stories following the presentation. You can view the event flyer to find out more below. 

Health Project Management Flyer

Working with people with lived experiences

Tuesday 6 March 2018
9.30am – 12.30pm
Hindmarsh

Participants of the working with people with lived experiences workshop will explore the current and potential role of people with lived experience within their services. It will also employ examples to highlight the complexities and the innovation in practice to help guide future direction in this area. There will be a focus on people with a CALD background. Please email your RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 8245 8100. More information is available on the flyer below.

Working with people with lived experience

National Disability Insurance Scheme information session

Monday 26 February 2018

5pm – 6.30pm

North Adelaide Community Centre

The National Disability Insurance Agency is running an information session to help people with disability, their families, and carers to:

gain information about accessing the NDIS
understand what may be included in an NDIS plan
prepare for their first planning conversation.

This session is for people who seek access to the NDIS or who already have gained eligibility for the NDIS. You can find out more and register here.

Closing the Gap Day 2018

Thursday 22 March 2018

The Northern Health Network invites you to join them for a celebration of Indigenous culture at Closing the Gap Day, to be held at the Adelaide Showground. The day is a free all-ages event which aims to bring together people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to share information and take meaningful action in support of achieving Indigenous health equality by 2030. You can find out more and register here.


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