Currently the fastest access pathway for medicinal cannabis is the Special Access Scheme Category B(or SAS B). This process is regulated by the federal government Therapeutic Goods Administration(TGA). However, if a doctor has a large volume of patients, then applying for TGA approval for each patient may become overly time consuming. In this case, doctors can apply to become Authorised Prescribers for a particular medicinal cannabis product and particular patient condition (such as prescribing medical cannabis oil brand X for treating condition epilepsy).
Once a medical practitioner becomes an Authorised Prescriber they do not need to notify the TGA when they are prescribing the medicinal cannabis product, however they must report to the TGA the number of patients treated on a six-monthly basis. The application form can be downloaded from the TGA Australia website.
In certain Australian states, medical practitioners must also apply to the State Health Department for approval. There are separate application procedures for each state – these are shown in the table below:
|State||Federal Approval||State Approval|
|QLD||Apply to TGA to become Authorised Prescriber||Notify QLD health that treatment has commenced as a patient-class prescriber|
|NSW||Apply to TGA to become Authorised Prescriber||Apply to NSW health|
|VIC||Apply to TGA to become Authorised Prescriber||Apply to VIC health|
|ACT||Apply to TGA to become Authorised Prescriber||Apply to ACT health|
|WA||Apply to TGA to become Authorised Prescriber||Apply to WA Department of Health|