The current state of medicinal cannabis access in Australia
Medical cannabis was legalized in Australia in 2016, with hopes to provide effective alternative treatments for patients who suffer from debilitating medical conditions. However, despite the legalization, patients still face significant challenges accessing the treatment. The regulatory framework in Australia requires the prescription of medical cannabis by a specialist doctor, and the drugs are only available in pharmacies that have the relevant license.
The relatively small number of doctors that are authorized to prescribe medical cannabis is one of the main obstacles to accessing the treatment. While there are currently over 41,000 doctors in Australia, less than 1,500 of them are authorized to prescribe medical cannabis. This is because the regulation requires doctors to complete a course before being authorized to prescribe medical cannabis. The course is expensive, and not all doctors can afford to pay for it.
Another significant challenge to accessing medical cannabis is its high cost. Currently, medical cannabis is not subsidized by the government in Australia. As a result, patients have to pay for the treatment out of pocket, which is often not affordable. Without subsidization, many patients are forced to resort to the illicit market to access medical cannabis, which poses significant risks to their health and well-being.
The financial opportunities of the medicinal cannabis market in Australia
Despite the significant challenges, the medicinal cannabis market in Australia has the potential for significant growth over the coming years. According to research by New Frontier Data, the Australian medicinal cannabis market is expected to be worth $3 billion by 2025, driven by patient demand and the increasing availability of the product.
One of the significant advantages of the Australian medicinal cannabis market is its export potential. Australia has become an attractive country for the production of medicinal cannabis due to its favorable climate and skilled workforce. Companies that are licensed to grow and produce medicinal cannabis in Australia have significant export opportunities to countries where medicinal cannabis is legal, such as Canada, Germany, and Italy.
The growth of the medicinal cannabis market in Australia can also create jobs and stimulate economic growth. In 2019, the Australian Government announced that it would invest $3 million in medicinal cannabis research to create new opportunities for economic growth in Australia.
The potential regulatory changes to improve access to medicinal cannabis
The Australian Government has recognized the challenges faced by patients in accessing medical cannabis and has recently taken steps to address these challenges. In September 2020, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced that it would remove some of the restrictions on medical cannabis prescribing, making it easier for patients to access the treatment.
The TGA also announced that it would allow doctors to apply for approval to prescribe medical cannabis online, making the process more accessible to patients in remote areas of Australia. Additionally, the TGA has proposed a new class of over-the-counter (OTC) products containing low doses of CBD, which could be sold in pharmacies without a prescription.
The future of medicinal cannabis access in Australia
The future of medicinal cannabis access in Australia looks positive, with increasing patient demand and regulatory changes designed to simplify access to the treatment. Investment and research in the medicinal cannabis industry are increasing, which will further drive growth and economic opportunities in this emerging market. Additionally, academic researchers are conducting clinical trials to prove the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis in treating a wide range of medical conditions, which will likely increase the demand for the treatment and improve patient outcomes.
While the challenges facing the growth of the Australian medicinal cannabis market are not small, the potential financial opportunities and positive effects on public health justify more focus on this new, developing industry. Eager to know more about the topic? Visit the recommended external website, where you’ll find extra details and complementary information. Get to know this detailed subject, expand your knowledge of the topic!
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