Mandurah residents experiencing chronic pain, anxiety or insomnia now have better access to medical cannabis.
A partnership between WA-based GP group Jupiter Health, which has clinics in Lakelands and Singleton, and leading medical cannabis company Montu Group could see more Peel patients prescribed with the alternative medication.
The deal is the largest of its kind in Australia, with Montu now set to work closely with GPs at the Lakelands practice to guide them on prescribing the drug to patients.
The clinics will also now have better access to medical cannabis products, cutting down the wait time for patients with a prescription.
Quite simply, it works when other pain relief won't.Dr Hany Eskandar
Jupiter Health Lakelands GP Dr Hany Eskandar said prior to the partnership with Montu, patients would often wait up to three weeks before being able to access their medication.
But those wait times could now be cut to as few as three days.
"Prescribing medical cannabis is not a matter of just giving someone their script and sending them to the chemist next door," Dr Eskandar said.
"There are criteria you need to meet, and you must gain authority. It was never difficult, but it was disorganised.
"Now, with Montu coming on board, the medical part becomes far easier and getting the medication to patients who need it is a far quicker process."
Dr Eskandar said the benefits of medical cannabis were obvious.
"Quite simply, it works when other pain relief won't," he said.
"When you see the amount of patients with severe pain and there's no other option, you understand the need for it.
"Until now I've only ever prescribed it for two or three patients, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive.
"Any doctor wants this for their patients. I will often even suggest it myself."
Research shows nationally 36 per cent of patients ask their GP about medical cannabis, but until now less than five per cent of Australian doctors prescribed it as medication.
More than 50,000 patients in Australia have been approved for medical cannabis treatment since it was legalised in October 2016.
Montu group managing director Christopher Strauch said the partnership with Jupiter would increase the standing of medical cannabis as a legitimate treatment option.
"Despite significant patient growth in Australia, medical cannabis is still seen as a niche treatment option and this partnership is a significant step to integrate cannabis into medical practise more broadly," Mr Strauch said.
"We've had patients who have suffered from chronic pain for more than 20 years who were able to cease their opioids and can now live a normal life again. And others who successfully manage their symptoms after years of depression and poor sleep."
For more information visit montu.com.au