In recent years, there has been found an incredible enhance in the demand for medical cannabis for medicinal purposes and business development. However, there is still a great deal of uncertainty of possible harms & health benefits that occurs due to the consumption of medical cannabis.
And this kind of behavior of people is maintaining a long-established obstacle for them to access medical cannabis for patients. It can also in turn impact their capability of receiving holistic and unbiased advice on products that are inclusive of the cost of the product, and the cost of ongoing treatment.
Those people who have got tired from the unbearable side effects of the traditional treatments are turning towards trying the treatment of medical cannabis regardless of its cost.
However, the pricing of medical cannabis can be an obstacle not only for some new patients, but these can also be difficult to manage for the existing patients. The reason behind this is the ongoing lack of federal government subsidization via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Medical Marijuana As A Modern Medicine
If we put the cost of medical marijuana aside, a huge range of Australians has a belief that medical cannabis is playing a very crucial role in modern treatments. The Cannabis As Medicine Survey (CAMS) conducted in the year 2016 assessed the medicinal use of marijuana amount the people of Australia.
81% of Australians have reported that the consumption of cannabis was primarily for medicinal purposes. Most of those people have made use of marijuana for curing their pain, for instance, back, neck, or gastrointestinal, for maintaining their mental health or curing anxiety, PTSD, or depression. They have also used it for neurological complaints or sleep.
How Much Are Australians Able To Pay For Medical Cannabis?
As the survey was conducted by CAMS for assessing the medical use of cannabis by the normal person by acquiring the illegal cannabis, it was not inclusive of cost data or conditions on authorized or medically prescribed medical marijuana.
However, the average cost of medical marijuana that was derived from this served with a useful picture of how much individuals are paying for the treatment of their medical conditions with marijuana, along with how much they are desired of paying.
Individuals are paying on an average $10-$13.50 per day according to the CAMS study. When those Australian people were asked about how much they would be desired of paying for getting their medical cannabis through legal pathways. They reported that the average cost of medical cannabis should amount to $11 per day. A huge number of people almost about 80% of those who were involved in the study have reported that their symptoms were effectively managed by medical marijuana.
The Prices of Cannabis in Australia dropped and the numbers have risen
Since the system of medical cannabis came into place, FreshLeaf Analytics has been monitoring the product pricing and the growth of the patients. FreshLeaf has announced in its Q3 2020 report that since the launch of the sector the prices had experienced the largest year-on-year drop. Now the medical cannabis is available under 10 cents per mg in all the product formulations instead of high or balanced THC. For achieving this, the minimum prices are 11 & 16 cents per mg respectively.
And more progress used to result in the drop of prices. Now in the Australian market, there are 150 products available for cannabis doctors for prescribing which is just double the last year. All these factors indicate that the doctors of cannabis are now having access to more medical marijuana options when they are attending to their patients.
Is Medical Cannabis “Affordable” for Australians?
It was found that the per day average dose was enhancing. In the year 2018, which dose was 37mg/day, is now 92mg/day. Is estimated that this enhances the per day doses of cannabis is because of the combination of lower prices of cannabis.
Additionally, as there is a minimum recommended retail price of medical marijuana that is about 6 cents per mg. This price is just 25% of what the market price was 3 years ago. There is a huge benefit to consumers because of this drop down in the prices.
Annoying Lack of PBS Subsidy Lingers
As PBS doesn’t cover those medicines which are unauthorized by the TGA, there are still no subsidized prices for prescribed medical marijuana. This in turn makes medical marijuana out of reach of potential patients in Australia. Those medicines were cost-capped in 2019 at approximately $40.10 per prescription that is approximately about $6.50 per month for concession cardholders which were subsidized by PBS in Australia.
If we do the comparison, any prices or charges that are more than these amounts will definitely make unsubsidized medicinal marijuana to look expensive to patients. And taking this thing into consideration, those people who are suffering from complex conditions that are also impacting their ability to earn and have requirements of medical marijuana, such prices might be unmanageable for them.
There is a Hope of Lower Medical Cannabis Costs in Australia in Future
As the market is growing continuously, product options are also expanding, and the TGA is beginning to approve certain medical cannabis and CBD products. Prices are also going to get continuously down. The future of medical marijuana will also be dependent on the directions that are given by the Australian medical cannabis production & manufacturing market, & only time will tell us.