How to Choose A Cannabis Clinic - Guide
As the use of medicinal cannabis becomes more widespread in Australia, the selection of a suitable cannabis clinic for individuals who could potentially benefit from this treatment has become critical.
While everyone can see easily access the price differences for consultations between clinics, there are other important factors that should also be considered when selecting a cannabis clinic. These include:
- Do they use electronic prescriptions?
- Is the Doctor an Authorised Prescriber?
- Do they offer a full range of medications?
- Do they have customer service?
Cannabis-based medications are a relatively new introduction to Australia's healthcare system. In 2016, medicinal cannabis was legalised for patient use under certain circumstances, opening up new avenues for treatment. Any registered medical practitioner in Australia can prescribe cannabis medications, ideally, the one who is currently treating the patient's condition, since they would have an intimate understanding of the patient's health background. However, due to the novelty of cannabis medications and the complicated process associated with prescribing them through the Special Access Scheme B (SASB), some doctors may hesitate to venture into this area of treatment.
In such circumstances, it's advisable to turn to an online clinic specialising in cannabis medications. Telemedicine platforms like Chronic Therapy have emerged to bridge the gap between patients and healthcare providers skilled in cannabis prescriptions. On the surface, these clinics may appear similar, but key differences set them apart. This guide aims to shed light on those differences, helping patients make informed decisions about their healthcare.
Does The Clinic Use Electronic Prescriptions?
One of the primary distinguishing features of an online cannabis clinic is the prescription method they employ. There are three common ways in which clinics issue prescriptions:
1. Paper prescription: This method involves mailing a physical paper prescription to a designated pharmacy. While this process is straightforward, it has two significant drawbacks.
Patients must purchase their medication from a single pharmacy, often at a higher price. As the patient has already invested in the consultation, they are somewhat obligated to also pay for the medication.
Mailing the prescription normally takes 1-2 business days before it reaches the pharmacy. Patients are often unaware that this process is being used. It normally takes an extra few days for the pharmacy to dispense their medication as they legally need the original copy of the prescription before the medication can be sent out.
2. Electronic prescription without a copy for the patient: Some clinics opt for electronic prescriptions, which are more efficient and eliminate the wait time associated with postal delivery. However, some clinics choose to send the e-script directly to the pharmacy, bypassing the patient. This closes the loop and prevents patients from comparing medication prices at different pharmacies. Furthermore, these clinics often charge an additional fee to send the patient a copy of their e-script.
If you ever find yourself in this position, let the clinic know that they had to press additional buttons to prevent you from receiving a copy of your e-script when it was generated. It is criminal that they then want to charge you a fee to send you a copy of YOUR prescription.
3. Patient-oriented electronic prescriptions: This approach puts the patient's needs first by providing them with a copy of their e-prescription. Platforms like Chronic Therapy operate in this manner. Chronic Therapy connects its patients to an online portal to purchase their prescribed medication through a reliable pharmacy which often charges below RRP. Chronic Therapy ensures that patients aren't charged above the recommended retail price. Many Australian pharmacies are charging 50% above RRP for certain cannabis medications.
Furthermore, the doctors at Chronic Therapy carefully select high-quality, cost-effective medications for their patients. This allows patients to shop around and find the best price for their medications at any cannabis dispensing pharmacy.
If you can get the same medication at another pharmacy for a cheaper price, please let us know!
Are The Doctors Authorised Prescribers?
The distinction between Authorised Prescribers and non-authorised doctors can significantly impact the patient's journey towards obtaining their medication. Authorised Prescribers are accredited to write prescriptions during the consultation. This allows patients to order their medication the same day, and, depending on delivery times, they can most often receive the medication within three business days.
In contrast, doctors who aren't Authorised Prescribers must seek permission from the Department of Health before generating a prescription, a process that often takes up to three business days. As these doctors usually check their emails infrequently, the average time to receive the cannabis medication can be extended to three weeks.
What Medications Are Available
The scope of available medications is a crucial factor when choosing an online cannabis clinic. Does the clinic offer a wide range of cannabis medications, or are they limited to a few options with higher profit margins? The prices of cannabis medications can vary significantly. For instance, the cost of CBD oil in Australia ranges from 5 to 25 cents per milligram of CBD.
Clinics that have access to a broader range of cannabis medications are typically better equipped to cater to patients' diverse needs. For example, Chronic Therapy doctors prescribe medications considering both the quality and the cost-effectiveness, ensuring that patients receive the best possible treatment at an affordable price. Most Chronic Therapy patients prescribed CBD oil pay only 5 cents per milligram, which is at the lower end of the price spectrum.
Does Your Clinic Have Customer Service?
Quality customer service is essential when dealing with an online clinic. Navigating the world of cannabis medications can be daunting for many patients, and there may be times when they need to discuss their order or medication with a professional promptly.
Clinics with strong customer service channels can provide the reassurance and support that patients need during their treatment journey. Chronic Therapy, for instance, offers live chat and phone support to its patients. This allows for real-time communication and prompt issue resolution, ensuring that the patients feel cared for and supported throughout their experience.
Choosing a cannabis clinic is a significant decision that could greatly impact a patient's health journey. It's important to consider factors like the method of prescription, whether the doctors are Authorised Prescribers, the range of available medications, and the quality of customer service.
Chronic Therapy is one such platform that aims to prioritise the patient's needs and facilitate the process of obtaining cannabis medications. However, it's important to remember that while this telemedicine platform streamlines the process, not all patients will be deemed appropriate for cannabis medications. The doctors at Chronic Therapy are diligent in their patient evaluations, ensuring that the prescribed treatments align with the patient's health status and needs.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is intended solely for informational purposes and does not serve as medical advice. At Chronic Therapy, our doctors diligently evaluate patients for the appropriateness of medications. Please be aware that scheduling a consultation with a Chronic Therapy doctor does not guarantee the issuance of a prescription.