Discussion on scheduled herbs

15th May 22

1. Medicinal Cannabis: An Overview for Healthcare Practitioners in Australia
Medical use of the herb Cannabis Sativa was legalised in Australia in 2016. It has a long history of use in many cultures including in China where it was recorded in the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing. Surveys indicate that patients are using it for a range of medical conditions. However, few practitioners are neither aware of its therapeutic benefits nor of the growing scientific evidence base. Although Chinese medicine (CM) practitioners cannot prescribe medicinal cannabis currently, this may change in time. Importantly CM practitioners need to understand this important herb as many patients are interested in whether it may be a useful therapeutic option for them.
In this presentation, Chinese medicine academic and medicinal cannabis expert Professor Kylie O'Brien PhD gives an overview of medicinal cannabis. She will cover its historical roots including in China, its key constituents and therapeutic actions, evidence of efficacy and how medicinal cannabis access is currently regulated in Australia. The implications of the increased consumer demand and of the current regulatory framework for Chinese medicine practitioners are also discussed.
2. Legal Access to Processed Aconitum Carmichaelii Debx. Lateral Root (Zhi Fu Zi) for Chinese Medicine Practitioners in Australia
Aconitum Carmichaelii Debx. Lateral Root (processed [Zhi Fu Zi] or unprocessed [Sheng Fu Zi]) has been one of the key herbs for a variety of health conditions based on Chinese medicine theory and practice. However, it has been scheduled in the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP) since January 1955 as one of the Aconitum species (spp) in Australia. Currently, Chinese medicine practitioners are not authorised to access any substances listed in SUSMP. A joint application of access to Zhi Fu Zi lead by FCMA was submitted to TGA on 4th November 2020. Although the application was not successful, the TGA has accepted our recommendation of upgrade measurement of the toxicity substances of Aconitum spp, subsequently Zhi Fu Zi in granules form are accessible. In this presentation, Dr Gu will review the clinical application of Zhi Fu Zi and related toxicity. He will also present some key points on how to access the herb legally under the SUSMP in Australia.
3. Restricted Chinese Herbal Medicines in Australia and Clinical Substitutes
The Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (CMBA) updated the “Chinese Medicine Referenced Nomenclature Compendium” in June 2019. The document lists two groups of herbal medicines for restricted/warning use. These restrictions limit the clinical usage of Chinese herbal medicine and there are currently no documents on alternative herbs for these restricted Chinese herbal medicines (RCHMs). The purpose of this presentation is to discuss some commonly used RCHMs and their substitutes from a clinical perspective, so as to help the clinical application of Chinese herbal medicine effectively.