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Single-patient prescribers

Under the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Act 2016 (PHMCA), a single patient prescriber is a medical specialist or general practitioner who has approval to prescribe a medicinal cannabis product to a particular patient.

To be a single-patient prescriber, you must:

  • be a medical practitioner:
    • either a specialist medical practitioner in the management of patients with the medical condition being treated with the product OR
    • a general medical practitioner in consultation with a relevant medical specialist
  • be registered (without undertakings on your registration) with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency
  • have an established treating relationship with the patient, or the medical practitioner is in direct communication with another medical practitioner who has an established long-term treating relationship with the patient and both are in well-documented agreement with the application for medicinal cannabis approval for therapeutic purposes.

Guidance and regulations

Forms and templates

Requirements

The authorised single-patient prescriber must:

  • participate in product education prior to the initial administration of the product and remain up-to-date with evidence based practice (if possible or available)
  • ensure the medicinal cannabis product is stored in accordance with the manufacturers specifications and meets  the requirements of the security standard if they are dispensing the medication from their practice
  • prepare a medicinal cannabis management plan (if they are dispensing) under the medicinal cannabis approval
  • notify Queensland Health when a medicinal cannabis management plan is made, by submitting the notification form
  • comply with the requirements of the medicinal cannabis approval (including but not limited to):
    • not dispense medicinal cannabis for medicinal purposes to any unapproved patient.
    • not exceed the approved maximum daily dose in accordance with that specified in the medicinal cannabis approval.
    • not vary the approved route of administration.
    • not vary the medicinal cannabis product without the relevant approvals.
    • conduct a medication review prior to initiating medicinal cannabis for therapeutic purposes and in any reassessment of the patient(s) receiving medicinal cannabis.
    • retain a copy of the all relevant documented approvals to prescribe medicinal cannabis in the patient’s clinical record.
    • report any adverse events to the TGA and to the State, as specified in their respective regulations and/or approvals
    • include processes to identify any misuse/abuse/diversion by the patient in any reassessment of patient(s) receiving cannabis for medical purposes.
    • clinically reassess the patient as to the appropriateness of treatment at least once every 3 months, or more frequently if required. Compare the outcome with the stated goal of treatment to determine whether treatment with medicinal cannabis should continue
    • advise the patient that if their medicinal cannabis product contains THC then they cannot drive or operate heavy machinery.
  • provide a treatment report to the chief executive at 3 monthly intervals
  • comply with any conditions imposed on a TGA approval relating to the medicinal cannabis product (s) being used

Other conditions may apply, depending on individual cases.

Last updated: 1 March 2017