NSW Cannabis Medicines Advisory Service preliminary survey results: enquirer perceptions and patient outcomes
Internal Medicine Journal
Background: In 2018, an innovative, State government-funded cannabis medicines drug information service was established for health professionals in New South Wales (NSW). The NSW Cannabis Medicines Advisory Service (CMAS) provides expert clinical guidance and support to medical practitioners considering prescribing a cannabis medicine to their patient(s). Aims: This research examines quality assurance and patient outcomes related to enquirers' experience with NSW CMAS. Methods: Data collection involved an online, anonymous survey with two components. Following a health professional enquiry, quality assurance data were collected about the enquirers' experience with NSW CMAS. The second survey focussed on patient outcomes and provides real-world observational data about cannabis medicines safety and effectiveness across a wide range of indications. Results: Data collection occurred between January 2020 and June 2021. Preliminary analyses were based on 68 quality assurance and 50 patient outcomes survey responses. General practitioners represented the highest proportion of survey responses (n = 33; 49%). The most common enquiry involved ‘patient-specific advice’ (n = 50; 74%). Patient-specific information provided by the service was mainly used for prescribing decision support (n = 45; 90%). Conclusions: Preliminary findings highlight the impact of an innovative cannabis medicines drug information service in supporting health professional clinical practice in an area of rapid knowledge translation. Quality assurance data indicate that the service is perceived well by the majority of enquirers. Patient outcomes data across a wide range of indications suggest some effectiveness and a reasonable safety profile for prescribed cannabis medicines for most patients.
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National Health and Medical Research Council