Medical Cannabis

Do you have a chronic (long term) illness?
Have standard treatments been unsuccessful or caused excessive unwanted side effects?
Then medical cannabis may be suitable for you.

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What is medical cannabis used for?

Medical cannabis has been used to treat a variety of health conditions including chronic pain, cancer pain, mood disorders (such as PTSD and anxiety), arthritis, fibromyalgia, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, epilepsy, eating disorders(such as anorexia nervosa and cachexia), multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, and Parkinson's disease. There is a growing evidence base to support the safe use of medical cannabis for these and other medical conditions. Currently, medical cannabis is considered a second-line treatment when other treatments are ineffective or intolerable due to adverse effects.

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Is it safe?

Medical cannabis is generally a safe and effective form of treatment; however, it is not suitable for everyone. It is not a 'magic cure' for all illnesses. It may be unsafe in people with some medical conditions, such as a history of psychosis. It can cause side effects including drowsiness and poor memory. It can interact with some other medications. For this reason, a thorough assessment and ongoing monitoring are essential to the safe use of medical cannabis.

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Is it legal?

Medical cannabis is currently not listed with the Australian TGA {Therapeutic Goods Administration) as an approved registered medication. However, medical cannabis can be legally prescribed in Australia through special access approval from the TGA. An application can be made for an individual with a medical condition for which medical cannabis may benefit and for whom first-line treatments have been unsuccessful. To be approved for a trial of medical cannabis, an application to the TGA must be supported by evidence that meets these criteria and must be reapproved annually.

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What is the cost?

The cost of the initial appointment is our Extended Consultation fee. Review appointments are charged at our Standard Consultation rates (see our Fees information). Medicare rebates apply.

If we decide to proceed with a TGA application, a $100 fee applies to cover administrative costs.

The medication cost for medical cannabis varies depending on the product chosen, the dosage used, and the medical condition being treated. It is not currently subsidised by Medicare or the PBS. Some private health funds may subsidise medical cannabis- make an inquiry with your health fund to find out more. Medication costs can be from $100 to over $500 per month.

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Are you interested in exploring this treatment?

Talk to your GP - ask them to refer you to us. Alternatively, contact us via our website and request a Medical Cannabis Referral Pack.

For more information about Medical Cannabis see www.greenchoices.com.au

The Patient's Journey

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Step 1: Referral & Eligibility Screening

It is ideal to ask for a referral from your usual doctor so we can work collaboratively with your health providers. However, we know that this is not always possible, and we happily accept self-referrals. After receiving your referral or inquiry, our team will issue patient health and medical history forms for you to complete and return to us. This enables us to screen your eligibility for medical cannabis and book your initial appointment.

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Step 2: Initial Appointment

This is an in-depth Extended Consultation to assess your health, answer any questions you may have, and select a suitable treatment plan including product and strength. After the completion of the initial appointment, an application to the TGA will be made to seek approval for medical cannabis prescription.

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Step 3: Prescription & Dispensing

Withing 48 hours of the application, the TGA will inform us of the outcome. Once approved, a script will be issued for you to order medical cannabis through a pharmacy of your choice who will dispense it to you. You can start your trial of medical cannabis.

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Step 4: Review Appointments

Regular review appointments are essential to monitor for adverse effects and adjust treatment according to your response. The regularity of review varies between patients, but typically begins weekly until we achieve optimal response to treatment. The TGA requires annual reapplication for approval to prescribe. A new application to the TGA is also required if we decide to change product type.

Feel well. Think well. Live well.