Report of Senate Inquiry into the current barriers to patient access to medicinal cannabis in Australia

On 25 March 2020 , the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs tabled its report of the inquiry into the current barriers to patient access to medicinal cannabis in Australia. ANZSPM made a submission the inquiry outlining member experience with the current pathways and emphasising that the use of medicinal cannabis should be evidence-based and regulated in the same way as other prescribed medications. 

Overall, the report makes 20 recommendations which include allocating funds to relevant medical colleges and peak bodies to support the development and delivery of accredited face-to-face and online training programs on medicinal cannabis for medical practitioners. However, ANZSPM is disappointed that the Committee seems to have dismissed concerns raised by ANZSPM and others about a lack of evidence on the use of medicinal cannabis and the need for investment in research in Australia to improve the strength of evidence for the efficacy and safety of medicinal cannabis for palliative care (and oncology) patients. The report states at 2.16 that there is "substantial evidence available from around the world to that effect, which should be made available for prescribing doctors to consider"

Other key recommendations in the report include:

While ANZSPM continues to work through the details of the report and we await the government's response to the report, we encourage members to email with any comments/feedback on the report and recommendations.