FAQs

Am I eligible to apply for Medicinal Cannabis approval?

You are eligible if previous treatment options for your condition have failed.  Medicinal Cannabis can be used in all age groups, including children. Medicinal Cannabis is not considered a first line medication and therefore you would have had to be diagnosed with a condition for which previous treatment options have failed.  This would circumstance would make you eligible to apply for approval which is granted by the Australian Government. PlantMed assists our patients with all stages of the application process.  You are most likely to be eligible if you suffer from any of the following approved treatment groups such as:

  • Epilepsy
  • Chronic Pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Palliative Care
  • Cancer treatment-induced nausea, appetite loss, and sleep disturbance

Other areas of qualification may include spinal pain, mood disorders (PTSD, anxiety, depression), arthritis, fibromyalgia, eating, disorders (anorexia, cachexia), multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, inflammatory bowel disease (crohns disease, colitis), autism.

Do I have to come back once approved and medication is dispensed?

Yes  Medicinal Cannabis medications within Queensland are given by the doctor as single prescriptions (scripts) only (no repeats are given).  To access each subsequent prescription, a 15 minute phone consultation with your PlantMed Doctor is required to track your treatment progress and then the Doctor will send your prescription to your nominated pharmacy.  Application Renewal or application for medication changes requires a follow up consultation generally every 6-9 months. 

Do you service other areas other than Queensland?

Yes, we service all states of Australia.  Skype or telehealth consults can be easily arranged.

Is PlantMed affiliated with any product or pharmaceutical company?

No, PlantMed and our doctors are not affiliated with, or paid by any pharmaceutical company.  PlantMed has access to, and can prescribe all Medicinal Cannabis treatment options approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). All external academic and professional Medical advisory positions held by our doctors are volunteer roles to help advance medical research and evidence-based medical practice within the Medicinal Cannabis industry.

What forms of Medicinal Cannabis are available in Australia?

There are many forms of cannabis medications.  Typically Medicinal Cannabis oral/ submucosal liquids (drops applied under the tongue) are used however there are also tablets, capsules, sprays, and vaporisations available depending on the ailment, patient age and patient preference.

How long will the approval process take?

Applications time vary depending on complexity of application however we generally allow 7-14 days for Governmental approval to be granted.

What is the estimated treatment time and expense commitment?

The initial consultation with your PlantMed Doctor is very important and thorough and therefore takes approximately 1-1.5 hours.

  1. Initial consultation: approximately 1-1.5 hours
  2. Follow-up appointment/Reapplication for ongoing Governmental approval (Special Access Scheme-SAS-B)/Medication adjustment based on response: approximately 1 hour
  3. Monthly prescription repeat with detailed review of treatment response, adjustment (titration) of dose to minimise unwanted side-effects: approximately 15-30 minutes
  4. Reapplication for continued Approval (Special Access Scheme-SAS-B) or Change of Medication Application: approximately 1 hour

Please note: All follow-up appointments involve conventional medication supervised dose adjustment to achieve the minimum effective dose of Medicine Cannabis required to relieve symptoms while minimising side-effects. At PlantMed, medical attention is also given to improving the functioning of the patient’s natural Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This helps maximise the response to the Medicinal Cannabis which means the dose of Medicinal Cannabis required to relieve symptoms can be kept as low as possible. This reduces the risk of side-effects, reduced the cost of the medication and enhances patient well–being and quality of life.

Follow-up consultations are also extremely important to provide opportunities for patients to develop collaborative and individualised therapeutic alliances with their PlantMed doctor. Opportunities are provided to address integrated health support advice and ensure all aspects of the supportive integrative health plan are being continued for maximum patient benefit.

Please note that PlantMed is a doctor-owned and operated medical clinic that does not simply processes Medicinal Cannabis governmental approval processes and paper work. We take care of all aspects of patient Medicinal Cannabis treatment, of which Governmental approval processes form one aspect only.

There are currently no Medicare rebates for the services provided by PlantMed doctors. Please contact PlantMed for indicative pricing.

Medication costs are dependent on the type or form of Medicinal Cannabis prescribed by the PlantMed doctor, and the recommended dosing regime considered medically appropriate for each individual patient. As for most prescription medications, prices for medications are established by the medicine manufacturers themselves, not by independent prescribing doctors. Costs for Medicinal Cannabis can range from $190 – $400 per 50-60ml vial.  These are estimate amounts for medication costs only.