Tasmanian Health Department speaks on medicinal cannabis deal | The Advocate



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Tasmanian hospitals and Ambulance Tasmania might not use medicinal cannabis often, or at all, any time soon, despite a new supply agreement. It appears most likely to be used for small children with severe myoclonic epilepsy, known as Dravet syndrome. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, Dravet syndome is rare, drug-resistant and leads to prolonged seizures. Medicinal cannabis developer and producer AusCann Group Holdings Limited told the ASX it had won a state Health Department tender to provide oral medicinal cannabis capsules to the Tasmanian Health Service, Ambulance Tasmania and other state government health centres, subject to receiving official purchase orders. AusCann – which has a cannabis resin supply deal with Westbury-based Tasmanian Alkaloids – said it did not expect the deal to result in big sales in the short term. That appeared consistent with the department’s views. “The presence of a contract does not predict whether a product will be ordered, only that an agreed price has already been negotiated should that product be required,” a Health Department spokesman said. He said the department had a pharmaceutical products tendering process every two years. “This tender covers a range of pharmaceutical products which may need to be accessed by government health facilities during the contracted period,” he said. “Government purchasing principles expect that products meeting certain financial thresholds and/or those presenting exceptional risks (such as security of supply) to be suitably covered by an appropriate purchasing arrangement/contract. “The Tasmanian Medicines Access and Advisory Committee (TMAAC) is a high-level, expert committee providing advice on the suitability of medicines for access and supply through the THS and Ambulance Tasmania on the basis of a product’s proven safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.” He said medicines were made available for use in the THS by listing them on the Tasmanian Medicines Formulary where there was enough evidence to prove they were safe, effective and cost-effective. “The Tasmanian Medicines Formulary currently lists cannabidiol (Epidyolex(R)) for use in severe myoclonic epilepsy in infancy (Dravet syndrome) in accordance with clinical criteria detailed within the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing,” he said. “High-quality evidence to support safe and cost-effective use may not be available in certain, rare medical conditions. “In these unusual and exceptional cases, TMAAC provides a mechanism for considering the suitability of a medicine for access through the THS for an individual patient.” Why not pick up a subscription to The Advocate? Sign up here. www.theadvocate.com.au/subscribe

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Tasmanian hospitals and Ambulance Tasmania might not use medicinal cannabis often, or at all, any time soon, despite a new supply agreement.

It appears most likely to be used for small children with severe myoclonic epilepsy, known as Dravet syndrome.

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, Dravet syndome is rare, drug-resistant and leads to prolonged seizures.

Medicinal cannabis developer and producer AusCann Group Holdings Limited told the ASX it had won a state Health Department tender to provide oral medicinal cannabis capsules to the Tasmanian Health Service, Ambulance Tasmania and other state government health centres, subject to receiving official purchase orders.

AusCann – which has a cannabis resin supply deal with Westbury-based Tasmanian Alkaloids – said it did not expect the deal to result in big sales in the short term.

That appeared consistent with the department’s views.

“The presence of a contract does not predict whether a product will be ordered, only that an agreed price has already been negotiated should that product be required,” a Health Department spokesman said.

He said the department had a pharmaceutical products tendering process every two years.

“This tender covers a range of pharmaceutical products which may need to be accessed by government health facilities during the contracted period,” he said.

“Government purchasing principles expect that products meeting certain financial thresholds and/or those presenting exceptional risks (such as security of supply) to be suitably covered by an appropriate purchasing arrangement/contract.

“The Tasmanian Medicines Access and Advisory Committee (TMAAC) is a high-level, expert committee providing advice on the suitability of medicines for access and supply through the THS and Ambulance Tasmania on the basis of a product’s proven safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.”

He said medicines were made available for use in the THS by listing them on the Tasmanian Medicines Formulary where there was enough evidence to prove they were safe, effective and cost-effective.

“The Tasmanian Medicines Formulary currently lists cannabidiol (Epidyolex(R)) for use in severe myoclonic epilepsy in infancy (Dravet syndrome) in accordance with clinical criteria detailed within the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing,” he said.

“High-quality evidence to support safe and cost-effective use may not be available in certain, rare medical conditions.

“In these unusual and exceptional cases, TMAAC provides a mechanism for considering the suitability of a medicine for access through the THS for an individual patient.”



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