Medicinal Cannabis and the Tyranny of Distance: Policy Reform Required for Optimizing Patient and Health System Net Benefit in Australia
In the evolution of any novel concept, there is a spectrum in the rate at which individuals adopt a new idea, a diffusion of innovation stretching from innovators to laggards . Such a distribution is emerging globally in the rapidly evolving field of medicinal cannabis (MC). Countries such as Israel, the Netherlands and, more recently, Canada could be regarded as innovators [2, 3]. They have taken pragmatic health system-based responses to the needs of patients, facilitating access to those with highest expected net clinical benefit while conducting trials and studies in parallel. Even the USA, with its patchwork quilt of innovation and lack of federal oversight, is developing insights into what works for their patient populations, and what doesn’t .
In contrast, Australia cannot be regarded as an innovator while obstacles continue to thwart the creation of an efficient, patient-oriented system, despite intentions of Federal legislation passed in February 2016 . Obstacles...
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This commentary received no financial funding.
David Caldicott, Justin Sinclair, Lynnaire Sheridan and Simon Eckermann have no conflicts of interest. David Caldicott is a member of the ACT Medical Cannabis Advisory Group. Justin Sinclair, David Caldicott and Simon Eckermann are members on the Scientific Board of United in Compassion. Justin Sinclair is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of BioCeuticals.
- 1.Rogers E. Diffusion of innovations. New York: Free Press of Glencoe; 1962.Google Scholar
- 2.Medical Marijuana Market Analysis By Application, (Chronic Pain, Arthritis, Migraine, Cancer) By Country (US, Canada, France, Italy, Switzerland, Israel, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, Netherlands, Portugal, Czech Republic, Estonia), and segment forecasts, 2013–2025. 2017. http://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/medical-marijuana-market.
- 3.de Bruin D, Ahmad T, Avendano JE, Sajanlal M, Edelstein A, Ryskin M. Medical cannabis has high potential: a joint biotech & tools primer. New York: Bank of America Merril Lynch; 2015.Google Scholar
- 4.The health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: the current state of evidence and recommendations for research. The National Academies Press, ed. E. Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana: an evidence review and research agenda; Board on Population and Public Health Practice; Health and Medicine Division; National Academies of Sciences. 2017: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- 6.Harris G. Researchers find study of medical marijuana discourarged. 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/health/policy/19marijuana.html?mcubz=0.
- 14.Medical Cannabis Reform in Israel. 2017. http://www.gkh-law.com/legal-update-february-2017/.
- 15.Caulkins JP, 2010. Estimated cost of production for legalized cannabis. Rand Corporation Working Paper 764, July 2010. Available online 21st July 2016: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/working_papers/2010/RAND_WR764.pdf.
- 21.Regulator of Medical Cannabis bill, 2014. https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_LEGislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=s987.
- 22.Medicinal cannabis: Government accused of defying will of Senate over importation http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-23/cannabis-email-has-government-accused-of-defying-senate/8835622.
- 23.Nelson S. Fentanyl maker donates big to campaign opposing pot legalisation. 2016. https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-09-08/fentanyl-maker-donates-big-to-campaign-opposing-pot-legalization.
- 24.Fang L. Leading anti-marijuana academics are paid by painkiller drug companies. 2014. https://news.vice.com/article/leading-anti-marijuana-academics-are-paid-by-painkiller-drug-companies.