Plant medicine or medical cannabis?
Montu's submission to the TGA's review of advertising guidelines for the medical cannabis industry.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration is updating its guidelines on the advertising of medical cannabis and has released a draft for comment.
We believe the present situation, where public facing clinical bodies are unable to use the words "medical cannabis" to describe the services they provide, inhibits patient access to vital health services and information, while also holding back the development of the Australian medical cannabis industry.
Montu has made two submissions to the review, one through our patient clinic, Alternaleaf, the other through our wholesale arm, Leafio.
Alternaleaf's core argument is that the phrase "medical cannabis" is not advertising specific products, but rather refers to a general type of health service.
Alternaleaf surveyed their patients and found that one-in-five people did not understand that "plant medicine" – the broadly used alternative term for medical cannabis – meant medical cannabis and that this led to confusion around their medical care.
The current rules also mean that doctors are unable to publicly refer to their medical cannabis qualifications, further hindering patients' ability to make informed choices.
Leafio's submission argued that these regulations are adversely affecting pharmacies as they try to keep up with surging demand for medical cannabis products. When wholesalers are unable to clearly state the brands and products that they stock, it creates further complexities and roadblocks for pharmacies as they try to serve their patient base.
You can read the Alternaleaf and Leafio submissions below.