Approvals through the Special Access Scheme climbed to their third highest of the year last month as the number of Authorised Prescribers continued to rise.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) issued 10,396 approvals in September, up 11.5% on August but down almost a quarter on the same month last year, which hit an all-time record.

While Queensland again generated the highest number of approvals (4,490), New South Wales leapfrogged Victoria into second spot for the first time this year.

NSW generated more approvals than Victoria for the first time this year

The state generated 2,760 approvals in September, 1,140 more than the state’s previous highest of the year.

Victorian clinicians accounted for 2,560 approvals.

Nationally, September’s scripts were written by 925 prescribers, marginally down on August despite the rise in approvals

Data showed the number of Authorised Prescribers climbed to 1,406 as of August 31, up almost 100 during the month and a rise of 1,000 from the same period last year.

Meanwhile, schedule 8 medicines accounted for 82% of the September total, with S4 making up the balance.

In splits largely in line with previous months, 45% of approvals were for chronic pain, followed by anxiety (28%), sleep disorders (7%) and PTSD (3%).

Oil accounted for 52% of approvals with flower capturing a 37% share, also consistent with previous figures.

Of the 3,870 flower approvals, almost 2,000 were for men aged 18-44.

The TGA’s new Authorised Prescriber data dashboard is due to launch later this month.

Steve has reported for a number of consumer and B2B titles over a journalism career spanning more than three decades. He is a regulator contributor to health journal, The Medical Republic, writing on...

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