Filling a medical cannabis prescription in Australia just became a little less painful, as a new marketplace for ordering cannabis has just been launched for pharmacists. It’s like Amazon, but with more cannabis.
CanView, developed by Burleigh Heads Cannabis, will allow pharmacists to order stock of medical cannabis prescriptions without contacting producers directly. The marketplace will allow pharmacists to view the dosage, product information and prices of cannabis medications.
Before the CanView marketplace was launched, pharmacists had to manually call each medical cannabis producer, send them patient documentation and order products once approved. While this process was designed to regulate who ordered cannabis medications instead, it created hours of extra work for both doctors and pharmacists – both of whom already work in busy environments.
While the CanView marketplace might not seem revolutionary, it shows the true growth of the cannabis industry. As of May, there are over 20,000 Australians with prescriptions for medical cannabis, which is allowed under the Special Access Scheme (SAS). However, these numbers are expected to increase dramatically over the next few years, as the cannabis industry is set to grow to over $1.5 billion by 2024.
Despite the size of the industry, ordering medical cannabis has been a long hassle of pharmacists. CanView’s General Manager Rachael Cooney described the situation.
There is too much confusing and contradictory information for pharmacists. Different dosing guidelines, different ways of presenting product information and various interpretations of the rules.
While this annoyed pharmacists and doctors, patients were also suffering. The manual process led to delays in filling prescriptions. Patients were also paying more for prescriptions, as pharmacies were charged a different shipping fee for each product.
While cannabis medications were legalised in 2016, the cannabis industry has often struggled with stigma. While a marketplace won’t end that stigma, the introduction of marketplace infrastructure into the industry marks its growth as a medical industry. Here in 2020, we already have over 18 large cannabis companies listed on the ASX. Once our pharmacists stop needing to order cannabis medications like it is 1980, we can get back to 2020.
The CanView marketplace already hosts over 40 different cannabis medications and handles 1,000s of product orders each month. Once a pharmacist orders the medication, it is sent via tracked shipping.
The platform also hosts medical information, allowing pharmacists to give patients up-to-date information sourced from Cannabis Doctors Australia. While the platform is not available for patients just yet, it seems that CanView is looking to expand this section later in 2020.