United in Compassion (UIC) and the Society of Cannabis Clinicians Australian Chapter (SCCAC) are launching a RACGP-accredited medicinal cannabis course for healthcare professionals.
The independent, not-for-profit course is based on the original Australian Medicinal Cannabis Course developed by Dr David Caldicott. It will be delivered face-to-face at UIC’s Symposium in May, with an online version to follow later in the year.
Modules are currently being updated and expanded by members of the SCCAC advisory panel and will be available in both face-to-face and on-line formats to a database of more than 20,000 healthcare professionals.
UIC acknowledged many doctors remain skeptical of industry-led education programs, and said it has therefore developed course content which is independent of influence from any single medicinal cannabis company.
However, UIC and SCCAC are asking the industry to support the education effort via a one-off, tax-deductible donation to cover course development and to keep module fees affordable.
A limited number of platinum packages are available at A$10,000, with gold packages priced at $5,000.
In order to comply with RACGP accreditation and remain independent, course participants will be invited to access a separate industry portal, where they will be able to learn about specific products and contact sponsoring companies.
Cannabiz understands Australian Natural Therapeutics Group was the first company to sign up to support the initiative.
Speaking to Cannabiz on the seventh anniversary of her son Dan’s passing from bowel cancer aged just 25, and six years since medicinal cannabis was legalised in Australia, UIC founder Lucy Haslam said: “It remains clear that while many Australian patients are now accessing legally prescribed medicinal cannabis, for a wide range of reasons, many more are still forced to use the illicit market.
“While that remains the case, there is work to be done to overcome lingering stigma from healthcare practitioners, to address the ongoing cost issues and to enable better access.”
Organisations interested in sponsoring the course can find out more via this link.