Regulators could be closing in on unethical business and prescribing practices in the medicinal cannabis sector as warnings grow that some behaviour risks setting the industry back “for a long time to come”.

Vertical integration, conflicts of interest, advertising breaches and substandard telehealth consultations were all cited as areas of concern that are in danger of stalling the industry’s progress.

Join the Cannabiz revolution

Want to stay ahead of the cannabis curve with the latest local and international news, analysis and intelligence and access to Australia's legal cannabis industry?

This article is included with our Premium subscription.

Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.
Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit duis tristique sollicitudin nibh.
Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

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...

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. After UIC I asked a doctor friend of mine about this. The conversation is here:

    Jake:
    A question without notice. Is it legal to be provided an incentive to prescribe a particular medication. Or for a pharmacist to replace with another brand and get a fee back for that?

    Response:
    Absolutely not ethical in either situation. Prescribing with an incentive is not illegal in the criminal sense but would definitely be sanctionable conduct as far as AHPRA would be concerned. Don’t know the technicalities regarding pharmacies.

    Jake:
    What about doctors working for the companies whose medicines they are prescribing to the exclusion of alternatives? Hypothetically.

    Response:
    Literally doesn’t happen with any other prescribed products so I have no idea. As a principle AHPRA would expect any financial COI to be openly declared to the patient, and there would have to be a defensible rationale for choosing one brand over another.

    =====

    Just as financial advisors and mortgage providers are required to disclose trailing commissions and fees etc.

    The lack of any disclosure is the key point here. If a prescriber or pharmacist is unwilling to say “I could prescribe/dispense this medication, but I would prefer this alternative because I make more money” then it is probably not the right thing to be doing.

    The independence of the prescriber to be able to provide the best care for the patient is the most important thing. This may or may not be medicinal cannabis…