Medicinal cannabis approvals more than doubled in 2021 to almost 123,000, year-end figures from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) have shown.

Data revealed a further 11,339 SAS-B approvals in December, taking the total to 122,565 for the calendar year.

Dosage form graph for 2021 medicinal cannabis approvals

The figure is a mammoth 113% rise on 2020, when there were almost 58,000 approvals.

The total number of prescribers in the year hit 2,781, up from 2,248 in the previous 12-month period. December’s scripts were written by 991 medical practitioners.

Chronic pain and anxiety were again the most common indications, accounting for 9,000 of December’s approvals.

Patients presenting with chronic pain and anxiety were the most likely to be prescribed medicinal cannabis in 2021

According to the TGA data, the market share of dried flower was 32% in December, while inhalation climbed to almost 10%, having barely featured on the regulator’s medicinal cannabis dashboard in prior months.

Oral solutions accounted for 54% of approvals in December.

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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