Canna~Fangled Abstracts

Mapping regulatory models for medicinal cannabis: a matrix of options.

By May 30, 2017 No Comments
Aust Health Rev. 2017 May 30. doi: 10.1071/AH16257.
[Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

pm-2-site-207Objective: The aim of the present study was to develop a framework for assessing regulatory options for medicinal cannabis in Australia.
Methods: International regulatory regimes for medicinal cannabis were reviewed with a qualitative policy analysis approach and key policy features were synthesised, leading to a conceptual framework that facilitates decision making across multiple dimensions.
Results: Two central organising dimensions of medicinal cannabis regulation were identified: cannabis supply and patient authorisation (including patient access). A number of the different supply options can be matched with a number of different patient authorisation options, leading to a matrix of possible regulatory regimes.
Conclusions: The regulatory options, as used internationally, involve different forms of cannabis (synthetic and plant-based pharmaceutical preparations or herbal cannabis) and the varying extent to which patient authorisation policies and procedures are stringently or more loosely defined. The optimal combination of supply and patient authorisation options in any jurisdiction that chooses to make medicinal cannabis accessible will depend on policy goals.
What is known about the topic?: Internationally, regulation of medicinal cannabis has developed idiosyncratically, depending on formulations that were made available and local context. There has been no attempt to date in the scientific literature to systematically document the variety of regulatory possibilities for medicinal cannabis.
What does this paper add?: This paper presents a new conceptual schema for considering options for the regulation of medicinal cannabis, across both supply and patient authorisation aspects.
What are the implications for practitioners?: The design of regulatory systems in Australia, whether for pharmaceutical or herbal products, is a vital issue for policy makers right now as federal and state and territory governments grapple with the complexities of medicinal cannabis regulation. The conceptual schema presented herein provides a tool for more systematic thinking about the options.
PMID: 28553995
DOI: 10.1071/AH16257
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