A review from the TGA has recommended that low dose CBD products be made available from Australian pharmacies over the counter.
Low dose cannabidiol (CBD) products could soon be available over the counter in Australian pharmacies, under a proposed change from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which would allow chemists to supply customers with up to 60mg of CBD a day.
Chemists would be required to identify potential drug interactions before dispensing the medicine and to alert consumers to any adverse side effects that may occur, such as mild drowsiness and fatigue.
Whilst there are some minor signals of adverse effects such as mild drowsiness and fatigue, this could be managed as for similar S3 medicines, such as requiring a label that indicates should not use if driving or operating machinery as for other medicines that can cause potential drowsiness. Excerpt from the TGA Report on the Safety of Low Dose Cannabidiol
The proposed changes would apply to anyone over the age of 18 and were made in response to a review conducted by the TGA, which found that CBD possesses an "acceptable safety and tolerability profile".
Unfortunately, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has announced that it will be opposing the move, as the organisation claims there is a dearth of evidence to warrant over-the-counter availability, along with concerns it will normalise cannabis use.
"It would be terrible if patients were of the view cannabis, with no evidence to support it, was better than an established therapy for a condition," AMA vice president Chris Zappala said.
However, the Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, has already stated that he will not intervene on the AMA's behalf, explaining that changes to drug scheduling are a "matter for the committee and the TGA in consultation with the States and Territories."
The cause has also recently been championed by famous Australian singer Olivia Newton-John, who has been publicly promoting the drug's use as part of her battle with breast cancer.
According to Newton-John, medicinal cannabis has been instrumental in helping her manage pain and other treatment related symptoms caused by stage four breast cancer.
"I was flat on my back in the centre and this year, through treatment and medicinal cannabis, I am feeling fantastic," Newton-John said.
"I hope to be able to soon offer that to everyone – that's my dream"
"It's all my doing! In all seriousness I hope we played some part in it. We talked to the politicians about how the public are really wanting this change."
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