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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 671 asked in the Legislative Council on 23 August 2018 by Hon Colin Tincknell

Minister responding: Hon R.H. Cook
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 23 August 2018

THERAPEUTIC GOODS ADMINISTRATION — MEDICAL CANNABIS — APPLICATIONS

671. Hon COLIN TINCKNELL to the Parliamentary Secretary representing the Minister for Health:

I thank the honourable member for her response to my question without notice 564 from Tuesday, 14 August regarding medical cannabis. I refer to the minister's reply to parts (3) and (5), given on Tuesday 14 August. In part (3) of the answer, the honourable member stated —

The cannabis-based product assessment panel will not have any routine involvement in decisions on authorising the prescribing of a cannabis-based product.

The term ''routine'' implies that the panel may or will have some involvement.

(1) Can the minister please advise on the meaning of ''routine'' and when it is envisaged that the panel will be involved in an application and to what extent; also, are there any time constraints still envisaged when the panel becomes involved in an application?

(2) In part (5) of the answer, the minister stated —

All completed applications will have a decision made within 48 hours.

What steps are involved in the approval process and what is the actual decision process flow from an initial patient application to the final decision that completes an application for a medical cannabis prescription, including, but not limited to, who is involved, when and how the application is handled and how the notification process is communicated?

Hon ALANNA CLOHESY replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1) The decision to authorise a medical practitioner to prescribe a cannabis-based product will be made by a delegate of the chief executive officer of the Department of Health under the provisions of the Medicines and Poisons Regulations 2016. The cannabis-based products assessment panel will not make decisions on individual authorisations. The panel may be requested by the chief executive officer to provide policy advice on administrative or other matters relating to how these decisions are considered or made.

(2) The process agreed with the commonwealth government is for Western Australia to utilise a single online portal to allow prescribers to apply to prescribe a cannabis-based product, in line with the requirements of both the commonwealth therapeutic goods legislation and the Western Australian medicines and poisons legislation. The single application made by a medical practitioner will be suitable for the purposes of the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Western Australian Department of Health. Both agencies will provide any authority to prescribe within 48 hours, through this same single process.