Frequently Asked Questions​

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Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent questions and answers

You can help get the best from a video consultation by following these simple steps:

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early to allow for preparation time
  • Avoid wearing brightly patterned or reflective clothing, as this may not show up well on camera
  • Switch your mobile off or to silent mode
  • Speak clearly so your voice can be picked up by the microphone
  • Look at the camera, so you can achieve good eye contact with the specialist
  • Do not hesitate to ask if you need help during the video consultation

CA Clinics, and doctors working in our clinic have no operational affiliations with any third party manufacturers or suppliers of product.

Patients who do not have conditions listed in the screening are less likely to receive approval from the TGA for treatment. If you would still like to discuss your case with our doctors, please call us on 1300 991 477

Health Insurance will pay a Pharmaceutical Prescriptions benefit when:

  • The drug is only available on prescription; and
  • The drug is listed within the MIMS schedule; and
  • The name of the drug does not appear in the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits

Bupa Health Insurance will not pay for:

  • Non-prescription medicine
  • Any non-TGA approved items (medications we use are typically non-TGA approved items)
  • Any PBS listed items which have been supplied under the PBS (for out-patients)

HCF health insurance doesn’t cover:

  • Services that are not delivered face to face, such as online or telephone consultations. Pharmaceutical Items not registered and labelled with an AUSTR number on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.
  • Registered and labelled with an AUSTR number on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

Contraindications for cannabinoid based treatment Products containing THC are generally not appropriate for patients who:

  • Have a history of hypersensitivity to any cannabinoid or products used in manufacture (e.g. sesame oil).
  • Have severe and unstable cardio-pulmonary disease (angina, peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease and arrhythmias) or risk factors for cardiovascular disease—THC acts through the CB1 receptors to decrease blood pressure, increase cardiac demand and causes vasodilation. In those who smoke cannabis, there is a four-fold risk of myocardial infarction in the hour following smoking in those patients with unstable ischaemic heart disease.
  • Have a previous psychotic or concurrent active mood disorder or severe anxiety disorder.
  • Are pregnant/breastfeeding—there are some reports of pre-term labour and low birth weight, and cannabinoids appear in the breast milk.
  • Patients with a past history of adverse reactions to cannabis These patients may be able to use a CBD product with no THC. This will depend on the symptoms being treated.

Relative contraindications These conditions may not prevent prescribing, though should also be considered by the medical practitioner.

  • Severe liver or renal disease.
  • Drug dependence, including nicotine and heavy users of alcohol or other medications especially other sedatives such as opioids and benzodiazepines
  • Paediatric and elderly patients—little is known about how these patient groups react to cannabis. As metabolism in the elderly is slower it is likely they will be more sensitive to the pharmacological effects of cannabis. Treatment should therefore be commenced at very low doses and adjusted very slowly.
  • Individuals with a past medical history of schizophrenia or family history of schizophrenia may be contraindicated for cannabis use. Cannabinoids may elicit schizophrenic episodes in patients who are predisposed to schizophrenia.

Other Considerations: 

  • Patients should not drive or operate heavy equipment while impaired or participate in responsibilities and activities that require focus and attention such as childcare
  • Care should be taken in prescribing products containing THC to patients under 25 due to the potentially adverse effects on the developing brain. A risk analysis should be undertaken prior to prescribing these products.

Products prescribed by our doctors are legal in Australia. They are imported under section 5 of the prohibited substances import regulations and are compliant with TGO 93, the quality standard for medicinal cannabis. Illegal products in Australia may not contain the ingredients they claim.

2 reasons: (1) quality assurance and (2) knowing the dose. The medicinal products that are prescribed by our doctors have to meet the quality assurance standards that are mandated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, or the TGA. 

The TGA is part of the federal Department of Health and they govern all the medicines that are available in Australia. They have mandated a standard for medicinal cannabis products that is known as Therapeutic Goods Order No. 93. This ensures that all cannabis used to make medicinal cannabis products is tested for potency, tested for microbiological contamination, tested for toxins that could come from the plant, tested for any residual pesticides and must come from a 100% natural source. Any other products that are sold in Australia (usually illegally) do not have to be tested and there is no way to know if it is safe to use.

All medicinal products prescribed by our doctors have to be a known concentration so patients can be sure exactly how much active ingredients they receive with each dose. With this information, a patient can tell exactly how well the product works at the first dose. If the patient needs to increase the dose, they can do this very precisely, to see if the product delivers more benefit at the higher dose. With any other products, there is no way to know how much of the active ingredients are contained in the products. They do not have to be tested. All medicinal products prescribed by our doctors have to be tested and the analytical results have to be shown to the TGA before they can be used to treat Australian patients.

Yes, patients will have to have a second consultation. To discuss medication dosage and to sign consent form.

The team at CA Clinics organise for the patient to be evaluated by one of our doctors and the team assist the doctor in completing the government application form. We need to include the condition being treated, what other medicines have been tried in the past and the name of the GP and/or specialist that has been treating the patient.

2 reasons: (1) quality assurance and (2) knowing the dose. The medicinal products that are prescribed by our doctors have to meet the quality assurance standards that are mandated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, or the TGA. 

The TGA is part of the federal Department of Health and they govern all the medicines that are available in Australia. They have mandated a standard for medicinal cannabis products that is known as Therapeutic Goods Order No. 93. This ensures that all cannabis used to make medicinal cannabis products is tested for potency, tested for microbiological contamination, tested for toxins that could come from the plant, tested for any residual pesticides and must come from a 100% natural source. Any other products that are sold in Australia (usually illegally) do not have to be tested and there is no way to know if it is safe to use.

All medicinal products prescribed by our doctors have to be a known concentration so patients can be sure exactly how much active ingredients they receive with each dose. With this information, a patient can tell exactly how well the product works at the first dose. If the patient needs to increase the dose, they can do this very precisely, to see if the product delivers more benefit at the higher dose. With any other products, there is no way to know how much of the active ingredients are contained in the products. They do not have to be tested. All medicinal products prescribed by our doctors have to be tested and the analytical results have to be shown to the TGA before they can be used to treat Australian patients.

The known side-effects from our prescribed medications include fatigue and sedation, vertigo, nausea and vomiting, fever, decreased or increased appetite, dry mouth, and diarrhoea. THC-containing compounds are also known to cause the psychotropic effects typically associated with cannabinoids such as feeling ‘high’.

Patients who are being treated with medications that contain THC should not drive or operate machinery while being treated.  All states in Australia have Mobile Drug Testing. The NSW Centre for Road Safety website states THC can typically be detected in saliva by a Mobile Drug Testing (MDT) stick for up to 12 hours after use. This could vary for each patient depending on the dose being administered. At this point in time, drivers will be penalised if they test positive for THC at a roadside MDT.

2 reasons: (1) quality assurance and (2) knowing the dose. The medicinal products that are prescribed by our doctors have to meet the quality assurance standards that are mandated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, or the TGA. 

The TGA is part of the federal Department of Health and they govern all the medicines that are available in Australia. They have mandated a standard for medicinal cannabis products that is known as Therapeutic Goods Order No. 93. This ensures that all cannabis used to make medicinal cannabis products is tested for potency, tested for microbiological contamination, tested for toxins that could come from the plant, tested for any residual pesticides and must come from a 100% natural source. Any other products that are sold in Australia (usually illegally) do not have to be tested and there is no way to know if it is safe to use.

All medicinal products prescribed by our doctors have to be a known concentration so patients can be sure exactly how much active ingredients they receive with each dose. With this information, a patient can tell exactly how well the product works at the first dose. If the patient needs to increase the dose, they can do this very precisely, to see if the product delivers more benefit at the higher dose. With any other products, there is no way to know how much of the active ingredients are contained in the products. They do not have to be tested. All medicinal products prescribed by our doctors have to be tested and the analytical results have to be shown to the TGA before they can be used to treat Australian patients.

Medications can come in many forms including tablets, capsules, vaporisation, oils, or sprays.
 

CA Clinics estimate the current approval timeline to be approximately 3 to 4 days. We have recently seen approval responses more typically be 48 hours. Timelines vary by state and by the complexity of the condition being applied for.

2 reasons: (1) quality assurance and (2) knowing the dose. The medicinal products that are prescribed by our doctors have to meet the quality assurance standards that are mandated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, or the TGA. 

The TGA is part of the federal Department of Health and they govern all the medicines that are available in Australia. They have mandated a standard for medicinal cannabis products that is known as Therapeutic Goods Order No. 93. This ensures that all cannabis used to make medicinal cannabis products is tested for potency, tested for microbiological contamination, tested for toxins that could come from the plant, tested for any residual pesticides and must come from a 100% natural source. Any other products that are sold in Australia (usually illegally) do not have to be tested and there is no way to know if it is safe to use.

All medicinal products prescribed by our doctors have to be a known concentration so patients can be sure exactly how much active ingredients they receive with each dose. With this information, a patient can tell exactly how well the product works at the first dose. If the patient needs to increase the dose, they can do this very precisely, to see if the product delivers more benefit at the higher dose. With any other products, there is no way to know how much of the active ingredients are contained in the products. They do not have to be tested. All medicinal products prescribed by our doctors have to be tested and the analytical results have to be shown to the TGA before they can be used to treat Australian patients.

No. Medicinal Cannabis is not listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Why not?

To be considered for inclusion on to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), the product must first be registered and approved for use by the TGA. To get approval by the TGA, a company has to submit many clinical trials that take years to complete. Some clinical trials for medicinal cannabis products are underway, but they are many years away from having enough data for a TGA submission.

 
Appointment TypeFee scheduled
Screening25
Initial Consultation90
Post Approval Consultation49
Monitoring Consultation49

You can also view our Price List here.

A one-off compliance fee of $250 is payable after the initial consultation.This covers the associated costs of making applications to the TGA and the associated back-office administrative duties.

Note: The cost of your Screening Appointment is deductible from the compliance fee.

Cancellation Policy:

We respect that your time is valuable and we appreciate that you understand ours is too. We have a 48 hour cancellation policy. Any cancellations that occur 48 hours or more before appointments can re-book at no additional cost. Cancellations made less than 48 hours before the appointment may result in a cancelled booking fee being applied.

Our treatments usually require TGA Special Access Scheme approvals Common conditions that we have seen approved by the TGA include but are not limited to:

  • Chronic pain
  • Cancer pain
  • Spinal pain
  • Mood disorders (PTSD, anxiety, depression)
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting
  • Epilepsy
  • Eating disorders (anorexia, cachexia)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Sleep disorders
  • HIV/Aids
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (crohns, colitis)
  • Others

The TGA requires that there is some evidence that the recommended treatment will work for your condition before they approve it, so many other conditions not listed here may be approved, if there is some support in the medical literature.

 

The first step in their journey is to complete an online questionnaire where trained medical professionals will evaluate whether your condition is appropriate for treatment. Please complete the patient qualification form.