AACMC meeting 20, 9 December 2022
The Australian Advisory Council on the Medicinal Use of Cannabis, Communiqué #20.
The Australian Advisory Council on the Medicinal Use of Cannabis (the Council) met for its twentieth meeting via Webex on Friday 9 December 2022. The Council represents professional organisations and specialist areas of the medical profession and patient groups.
Professor Jenny Firman, Chief Health Officer from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), attended the meeting in person to present to Council on DVA’s framework to support veteran access to medicinal cannabis.
Two areas of ongoing interest to Council were discussed.
Council held further discussion on the aggressive use of THC/CBD for Autism and ADHD in children in Australia. Adjunct Professor Robyn Langham, Chief Medical Advisor for the Therapeutic Goods Administration, presented on the effects of THC compounds on children, especially those with severe behavioural problems.
Council also discussed what they see to be three pivotal matters to strengthen the education of General Practitioners to support prescribing of medicinal cannabis and remove some of the challenges and stigmas currently associated with prescribing:
- How to manage the education of junior doctors to support prescribing of medicinal cannabis. Council suggested that the creation of a specialised education module might aid in managing this process, as well as offering practical support within the learning environment.
- Council considered ways to strengthen education in the college environment, including whether specialised materials that could benefit students could be develop and promoted.
- Noting a gap in medical professionals willing to prescribe medicinal cannabis, Council considers that it is crucial to identify and address any gaps through allied health programs and education. Examining changes over the coming year(s) could help determine how best to fill gaps in workforce needs with accessible learning opportunities - including a prescribing module that would be highly beneficial.
The Council received regulatory updates from the Office of Drug Control (ODC) and provided positive feedback on the updated ODC website.
Additionally, Council was informed of recent regulatory action taken by TGA in issuing information about infringement notices for the alleged unlawful advertising of medicinal cannabis products on its websites and social media platforms.
The next Council meeting will be held 10 March 2023.