How is medicinal Cannabis regulated in Australia?
There are two layers of regulation for this prescription only medicine:
- At the Commonwealth level through the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
- At the relevant State/ Territory Government level.
While Commonwealth requirements apply to all prescribers and suppliers, State and Territory Governments have varied regulations as to who can prescribe Medicinal Cannabis.
This means there are several prerequisites that prescribers and pharmacies need to comply with before they can prescribe or dispense Medicinal Cannabis products; these requirements have been carefully considered to ensure that the products available meet an acceptable standard and that they are supplied in a way that is safe, secure and appropriate.
These regulations make it necessary for patients to make multiple trips to the pharmacy in order to access Medicinal Cannabis products.
How much does Medicinal Cannabis cost and is it available on the PBS?
Medicinal Cannabis is a private prescription only medicine, and costs depend on the strength of the product and the dosage form.
The MCP provides access to a variety of Medicinal Cannabis products from multiple manufacturers. Specialists, Doctors and Pharmacies can advise the products available and the cost of those medicines. A Special Interest Group Pharmacy, available on our locator, should be able to assist you with this information.
All Medicinal Cannabis products available through the MCP can be accessed at MCP Network Pharmacies with the added security of a maximum price to patients. That pharmacist will be able to confirm the price for you, and your doctor will also be able to advise the maximum price for the appropriate medication during your consultation.
How can I find a pharmacy that is willing to dispense Medicinal Cannabis?
MCP Network Pharmacies will be able to dispense the Medicinal Cannabis from manufacturers listed on this portal. These pharmacies have also agreed that they will charge no more than a set maximum price per Medicinal Cannabis product; your pharmacist will be able to confirm the price for you, and your doctor will also be able to advise the maximum price for the appropriate medication during your consultation.
Please remember that due to Commonwealth and State restrictions, pharmacies cannot have Medicinal Cannabis products stored on the premises; these products must be ordered in specifically for each patient. This means they cannot hold stock in the pharmacy for the general public.
After the pharmacist has seen the script and all accompanying approvals, the patient, or their carer, will need to pay for the Medicinal Cannabis product. The pharmacist will then be able to order the item from the approved wholesaler.
This means that patients will need to make a second trip to the pharmacy to collect their medication. Your pharmacist will be able to give you guidance on the expected arrival time for the medication, and how you will be notified.
The ‘Medicinal Cannabis Special Interest Group for Pharmacies’ Locator details community pharmacies who have expressed an interest in the topic of Medicinal Cannabis and are happy for their details to be made available to the public. They should be able to assist you to access medicinal cannabis, subject to prior compliance with regulatory requirements and the issue of a valid prescription from an appropriate health professional.
Please Note: appearance on this list does not guarantee the pharmacy will be able to dispense Medicinal Cannabis, or deem it appropriate for your individual circumstances.
Who should I contact if I have any questions about Medicinal Cannabis or the MCP?
If you have any queries about Medicinal Cannabis, or if you have been prescribed Medicinal Cannabis and have questions about your medication, it is best to speak to your doctor or the dispensing pharmacist.
If you have any questions that relate to the MCP you can email the MCP Administration Team at firstname.lastname@example.org The MCP Administration Team can help with queries relating to the MCP, such as updating your contact details, or helping you locate an MCP Network Pharmacy.
Please note, the MCP Administration Team cannot provide any clinical advice regarding Medicinal Cannabis products, or provide any updates relating to Commonwealth or State/Territory approvals.
Where can I find more information about Medicinal Cannabis?
Further information about access to Medicinal Cannabis can be found via the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and local state/territory websites:
These links to external websites are not provided or maintained by, or in way affiliated with PharmaPrograms or Sinapse Pty Ltd. PharmaPrograms and Sinapse Pty Ltd do not guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of any information on these external websites.