Cannabis meds approved for over counter sale
Cannabis medication has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to be sold over-the-counter in Central Queensland.
But there is a catch.
"To date, the Therapeutic Goods Administration TGA has not approved any over-the-counter OTC medicinal cannabis products for supply in Australia," a TGA spokesman told The Observer this week.
This is despite recent media reports stating the medication is "available over the counter", which have resulted in numerous inquiries for some CQ pharmacists.
Anxiety, insomnia, PTSD and chronic pain are some common conditions cannabis is used to treat.
The spokesman said on February 1, Cannabidiol CBD, which is an active ingredient in cannabis, was down-scheduled from a S4 to an S3 substance.
"This means that medicines containing low-dose CBD can now be sold on the advice of a pharmacist for non-serious conditions only," the spokesman said.
Extracted from the cannabis plant, CBD does not provide the high associated with smoking cannabis.
Under the ruling, the maximum dose per day of CBD that can be sold over the counter is 150mg.
But first, producers of the medications which are widely available in the United States, must register the product with the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods ARTG and apply for approval.
"To register an S3 OTC medicine in the ARTG, a sponsor of the medicine must submit an application to the TGA with data to support the quality, safety and effectiveness of the product for its intended use, the proposed indications, proposed dosage and the patient population," the spokesman said.
"The TGA is unable to provide any assurance to product quality, safety or efficacy of any product not registered on the ARTG."
For people suffering appropriate ailments, cannabis medication is available to Central Queenslanders via their GP through the appropriate channels.
"Patients can access unapproved medicinal cannabis/CBD products via the Special Access Scheme (SAS) or Authorised Prescriber (AP) scheme on prescription only," the spokesman said.
"Any Australian registered medical practitioner can apply to the TGA for approval to access unapproved medicines through the SAS scheme or AP scheme if they believe it is right for their patient."