And a leading Australian pharmacist has been appointed to the expert panel
The Health Department has announced the establishment of the Australian Advisory Council on the Medicinal Use of Cannabis, which will provide “expert advice” to the government.
Professor James Angus AO, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Melbourne, has agreed to Chair the Advisory Council.
Professor Anne Tonkin, who is the Chair of the South Australian Medication Advisory Committee and a member of the Medical Board of Australia, will be Deputy Chair.
And pharmacist Michelle Lynch, who is the national vice-president of the PSA, has been appointed to the council as a representative of the pharmacy profession.
The Council’s expert members will be expected to provide specialist, balanced and timely advice to the Government on:
- the ongoing implementation of the regulatory scheme allowing for the licenced cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis here in Australia;
- the design of medical prescribing guidelines and the use of the Authorised Prescriber and Special Access Scheme mechanisms allowing for patient access; and
- the current state of medical evidence supporting the use of medicinal cannabis for a variety of clinical conditions.
“Many Australians may not realise that patients can already access medicinal cannabis and its products from overseas via an Authorised Prescriber (doctor) or through the Special Access Scheme B process,” explains Health Minister Greg Hunt in a statement.
“The Government’s medicinal cannabis scheme allows for the safe cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis products that will be safe to use and have standardised dosing,” says Mr Hunt.
“It will bring the use of medicinal cannabis products under standard medical care where dose responses and adverse events can be properly monitored and responded to – just as happens with other medications.
“I look forward to working with the Council so Australians can have confidence in the medicinal use of cannabis and help relieve the pain and suffering of our fellow Australians,” he says.
The full council members list is as follows:
Professor James Angus
Chair of Victorian Independent Medical Advisory Committee on Medicinal Cannabis
Emiritus Professor Anne Tonkin
Chair of South Australian Medication Advisory Committee
Ms Liz Callaghan
Palliative Care Australia
Professor Richard Chye
St Vincent’s Hospital
Palliative care and pain
Dr Ian Freckelton QC
University of Melbourne
Law / former member of the 2015 Victorian Law Reform Commission Review
Professor Wayne Hall
University of Queensland
Toxicology (drugs) / Also advising the Queensland Government
Dr Chris Hayes
Faculty of Pain Medicine – Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
Ms Carol Ireland
Epilepsy Action Australia
Professor Jennifer Martin
University of Newcastle
Ms Michelle Lynch
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
Pharmacy profession representative
Ms Ria Pryce
Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation
NSW Government nominee
Dr Morton Rawlin
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Medical profession representative
Dr Simon Walsh
Australian Federal Police
Dr Phil Wright
NSW Department of Primary Industry
Chief Scientist / cultivation
Professor Helen Zorbas