Pastilles are gaining in popularity as a medicinal cannabis dosage form among doctors and patients, according to the latest Special Access Scheme data from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

While still representing a small number of approvals through the SAS-B pathway – 525 out of the 14,219 recorded in April – the number in the first four months of the year, 1,470, has already surpassed the 2023 total of 811.

SAS-B approvals January to April 2024

Approvals for pastille prescriptions have increased steadily in each month of 2024, rising from 150 in January, to 360 in February, 430 in March and 525 in April.

Continuing growth of the dosage form has been forecast by honahlee co-founder Tom Brown who told the ACannabis conference in March that pastilles are set to be the “new big thing”.

“This isn’t very surprising as patients have been asking for them for quite some time now,” he said.

Overall approvals slipped marginally from the March total of 14,790, but remained 67% ahead of April 2023.

It continued a strong start to the year for approvals, with the TGA rubber-stamping almost 52,000 SAS-B prescriptions in 2024 so far, up 31% on the previous corresponding period.

Oil remained the most-prescribed dosage form in April, representing 44% of the market, with flower taking 40%.

A little under 1,000 approvals were for inhalation, followed by pastilles and capsules.

Category split of SAS-B approvals for the first four months of 2024

Victoria continued its hold over Queensland, generating 6,010 approvals, followed by the sunshine state with 3,870 and New South Wales with 3,640.

A total of 933 prescribers submitted medicinal cannabis applications to the TGA.

THC-only, category 5 medication dominated the market, contributing more than half the total, with one in five approvals for CBD-only product.

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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