Australian Pharmacist, Mr. Condina, will be the first provider of cannabis oil, when his 25ml vials of cannabis oil become available to be prescribed next month.
Despite being legalised as a medicine by the Federal Government 10 months ago, no South Australian (SA) doctor can prescribe the drug and just eight patients have received approval to use it legally, according to the latest Therapeutic Goods Administration figures.
When his 25ml vials of cannabis oil become available to be prescribed next month, Mr Condina will be the provider of an Australian-made product patients are desperate for, but have for so long struggled to access.
“We have doctors who are interested in prescribing it, we have a pharmacy that can dispense it and talk to patients on how to use it, we have a facility where we can actually make it,” he added.
The 39-year-old started his pharmacy career in 2002, and has been working as a compounding pharmacist since 2010 at GD Pharma.
GD Pharma produces six main products including pain medicines, treatments for addiction, eye drops, and its newest medicinal cannabis line.
The company regularly manufactures medicines out of drugs like ketamine, but under the TGA’s licencing scheme, required a special import licence to bring in cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannibanol (THC), two types of cannabinoids found in the resin of the cannabis plant.
During the Sunday Mail’s visit, Mr Condina repeatedly pointed out the unregulated drugs he manufactures that are stronger and potentially more dangerous than medicinal cannabis.
“If someone treated this as a medicine, which it is, and called it a different name, such as cannabinoid medicine, or a different class of product, then it wouldn’t produce such hype or the scare around it.”
Mr Condina said the psychoactive product will be predominantly used legally by cancer patients to lessen the nausea and pain brought on by chemotherapy.
He says a regular dosage is between 0.5ml and 1ml, meaning the bottle could last patients almost a month before paying for a new prescription.