The Australian Medical Cannabis Market
SAS Category B approval statistics Source
Up to 30 June 2019, the TGA has approved over 9300 SAS Category B applications for unapproved medicinal cannabis products.
A breakdown of the number of SAS Category B approvals by month for the previous 12 months is also provided below:
Month Number of SAS Category B approvals
July 2018 188
August 2018 229
September 2018 237
October 2018 331
November 2018 567
December 2018 490
January 2019 670
February 2019 738
March 2019 1038
April 2019 1109
May 2019 1371
June 2019 1576
- These figures represent the number of SAS Category B approvals only.
- The total number of approvals is provided since 1992 when TGA received the first known medicinal cannabis SAS application. However, the large majority of approvals have occurred since 2016.
- These figures are correct at the time of publishing, however are subject to change in order to reflect updates due to subsequent application cancellations, withdrawals and amendments.
- Approval numbers do not equal the actual number of patients receiving these medicines under the SAS. This is due to the possibility of repeat applications for the same patient. It is also possible that an individual patient may be associated with separate approvals for multiple products. SAS applications contain de-identified information and it is not possible for the TGA to accurately calculate patient numbers.
- Approval under the SAS does not necessarily mean the patient has accessed or continues to access treatment. Following approval, the actual supply of medicinal cannabis is a matter for the medical practitioner and their patient.
- Australian patients may also be accessing unapproved medicinal cannabis products outside the SAS via the Authorised Prescriber scheme or in a clinical trial and these will not be captured in the SAS figures provided above. As of 30 June 2019 there are 56 Authorised Prescribers.
- Sativex (nabiximols), an approved medicinal cannabis product included in the ARTG, is also available in Australia and its use is not included in these statistics.
Thousands of Australians are now using medicinal cannabis to treat conditions like chronic pain and anorexia.
Yesterday, the ABC revealed more than 3,100 medicinal cannabis scripts had been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) since the Federal Government relaxed restrictions in March 2018.
According to experts, these people were just the tip of the iceberg. It has been estimated as many as 100,000 Australians self-medicate with cannabis they've acquired illegally.