In the ACT, prescribers must have approval from the ACT Chief Health Officer (CHO) and from the TGA to prescribe medicinal cannabis as a controlled medicine.
Prescribers may now apply for both ACT and TGA approvals to prescribe medicinal cannabis concurrently via the TGA’s online application pathway. This single online pathway has been developed to streamline the application process for prescribers and facilitate more timely patient access to medicinal cannabis products.
Applications can now be submitted through the TGA’s Special Access Scheme Application website. For more information about the Special Access Scheme, please visit the TGA website.
The TGA and ACT Health will each conduct their own evaluation processes on the information submitted via the online application system. It is important to note that as part of these evaluation processes, the TGA and ACT Health may contact the prescriber seeking further information in support of the application.
The TGA will evaluate the application under the requirements of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 and ACT Health will evaluate the application against the requirements of the ACT Controlled Medicines Prescribing Standards. Both the TGA and ACT Health must approve the application prior to a prescriber being permitted to prescribe medicinal cannabis.
Under the ACT Controlled Medicines Prescribing Standards, medicinal cannabis can be approved for patients with the following conditions:
- spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis
- nausea and vomiting from Cancer chemotherapy
- pain and anxiety related to active malignancy from a life limiting disease with a prognosis of 12 months or less
- refractory paediatric epilepsy
Applications will also be considered on a case by case basis for other conditions. ACT Health may refer these applications to the Medicinal Cannabis Medical Advisory Panel for advice.