NSW doctors can now write up a script for medicinal cannabis for patients who need it.

Previously you could only access cannabis-based medicines through clinical trials, but with regulatory changes that take force from Monday, the drugs can now be prescribed for patients who’ve exhausted standard treatment options.

“People who are seriously ill should be able to access these medicines if they are the most appropriate next step in their treatment,” NSW Premier Mike Baird said on Sunday.

“This change increases the options available for doctors as it means a broader range of cannabis-based medicines can be prescribed — while we continue our evidence-based research looking further into the role medicinal cannabis can play,” Mr Baird said.

Medical Research Minister Pru Goward said NSW was regulating cannabis-based medi­cines in the same way as any other emerging medicine.

“Patients wishing to investigate the use of cannabis-based medicines will need to talk with their doctor about suitability,” Ms Goward said.

“There is still a lot to learn about safety and efficacy for different patient conditions and groups, which is why we are investing $21 million to further world-leading … research.”



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