Distribution firm Cannabis Warehouse Australia has entered a partnership with medicine management platform Strongroom AI in a move to ease compliance headaches for pharmacists.
The companies will explore ways of automating and standardising administrative tasks with Strongroom leaning on Cannabis Warehouse Australia’s knowledge of the medicinal cannabis market to deliver streamlined services for the industry.
Strongroom is a drug management tech platform that, among other services, enables pharmacies to log all schedule 8 medicines they hold and dispense as required by law, including medicinal cannabis.
The system is compliant with the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
In exchange for mining the knowledge of Cannabis Warehouse, Strongroom will host pharmacy-related education and information content produced by the distributor.
Among the issues faced by the tech firm are the inconsistency and regular changes of product names, and the sheer volume of new cannabis medications entering the market.
Amid such variations, it has struggled to keep pace, raising the possibility of Strongroom’s pharmacy customers being unable to locate and log certain products on the software system.
Cannabis Warehouse chief operating officer Eric Chan said supplying Strongroom with accurate and up-to-date product information will be one of a number of ways it can help the tech firm.
“We have a background in distribution and have relationships with brands, sponsors, pharmacists and doctors so we have a broad picture of the medicinal cannabis market,” he said.
“We will be sharing all our knowledge, understanding and connections with Strongroom so they can optimise their systems and make automation as fast and efficient as possible for pharmacies.”
Other projects could involve automating the process for submitting delivery confirmation of S8 medicines, as pharmacists are required to do. In NSW, pharmacists must do that by post, Chan said.
He told Cannabiz that a common reason why pharmacies are reluctant to handle and dispense medicinal cannabis is the administrative and compliance burden it puts on staff.
Streamlining and automating those tasks will ease their workload and enable more time to be spent with patients, he said.
“We know that pharmacies, particularly community ones, are sometimes unwilling to go into medicinal cannabis because of all the added effort in dispensing S8 medicines, especially medicinal cannabis where the general public require support.
“Our belief is that if we automate these manual processes and increase efficiencies they will use that time to spend with patients, which is what they want to do.
“We believe pharmacies have a key role to play in the future of medicinal cannabis.”
On the educational content to be hosted on Strongroom, Chan said pharmacists are time-poor and “unlikely to go looking for extended education”.
He added: “Therefore, Strongroom and Cannabis Warehouse are not only working on process and system optimisation, but aiming to maximise the high-level engagement pharmacies have with the Strongroom platform to provide better education and hopefully inspire curiosity to learn more.”