Online tool brings the medicinal cannabis supply chain a step closer to the dispensary
Pharmacists’ ability to dispense medicinal cannabis is moving another step closer with the launch of a new portal aimed at facilitating access and ordering.
The new Medicinal Cannabis Medicines Portal (MCMP) should facilitate product access and ordering processes between manufacturers, health professionals and patients, its developers say.
Developed by PharmaPrograms, the new online portal will provide a streamlined process for medicinal cannabis prescribing and dispensing between health professionals and manufacturers.
The portal is “open to all manufacturers of medicinal cannabis and will facilitate supply of Medicinal Cannabis via the TGA’s Special Access Scheme. Medicinal Cannabis from selected multiple manufacturers will be distributed via the trusted community pharmacy network in Australia,” the company said in a statement.
The foundation company participants in the portal are Cann Group Limited & The Hydroponics Company (Canndeo Limited).
PharmaPrograms systems architect, former Pharmacy Guild of Australia national president, Kos Sclavos AM, says the MCMP will ensure that health professionals will be able to work together to support patients and carers who require access to medicinal cannabis.
It will also support them through the regulatory requirements, and ensure pharmacy is central to the medicinal cannabis distribution network.
“In other countries, the supply of medicinal cannabis has perilously followed a distribution route that often bypassed the patient’s regular community pharmacy, sometimes even excluding the patient’s existing doctor support network,” said Mr Sclavos.
“The MCMP will result in a more effective continuity of care for the patient. The IT enabled system will support patients and carers, optimising Quality Use of Medicines (QUM). Initially, supply will focus on selected Manufacturers (Sponsors) approved to import bulk supplies of medicinal cannabis products, under the TGA SAS (Category B) or Approved Prescribers schemes.”
Peter Crock, CEO of Cann Group said they have “started cultivation of medicinal cannabis at our first facility in Victoria.”
He said that questions of access remain for patients, but that the MCMP will provide a much-needed channel for patients to access product “while also bridging the gap with health professionals seeking the information to allow appropriate advice and prescription.”
Prescribers and pharmacies are invited to register on the MCMP from today. Registered Network Pharmacies will be detailed on the web based Pharmacy Locator, allowing patients to know where enrolled pharmacies are located.
At these pharmacies patients can access participating sponsor’s medicinal cannabis, at a known maximum price, with the security of knowing the product is in Australia and accessible. Registered prescribers will have access to the IT portal which will facilitate compliance with necessary TGA and State/ Territory requirements for medicinal cannabis prescribing.
There are also a number of resources contained within the MCMP to support registered health professionals to ensure they are ready to use the system once the portal goes live in late October, Mr Sclavos said.