Survey shows Australian GPs cautiously supportive of medicinal cannabis access
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IMAGE: Professor Iain McGregor is Academic Director of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney in the Brain and Mind Centre. view more 

Credit: University of Sydney

A majority of Australian GPs support medicinal cannabis being available on prescription, with their preferred “access model” involving trained GPs prescribing independently of specialists, a 2017 national survey of 640 GPs published in today’s British Medical Journal Open reveals.

More than two thirds of full-time GPs had received at least one patient enquiry about medicinal cannabis in the three months prior to the survey but fewer than one in 10 knew how to navigate the bureaucratic processes involved in its prescription. The majority felt uncomfortable discussing medicinal cannabis with their patients.

Conducted between August and November 2017 by the University of Sydney’s Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the Brain and Mind Centre, the survey revealed that despite the majority of GPs self-reporting a lack of knowledge around medicinal cannabis, a large majority supported its use in palliative care, cancer pain, spasticity in multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and intractable epilepsy.

Co-author and research associate at the Lambert Initiative, Anastasia Suraev, said the paper highlighted the need

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