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Althea reaches 100 patients for medicinal cannabis products in five months

The company listed on the ASX last month and its shares increased 180% on its first trading day.
Althea reaches 100 patients for medicinal cannabis products in five months
Medicinal cannabis products can treat the symptoms of a medical condition or to ease the side effects of other treatments

Althea Group Holdings Ltd (ASX:AGH) has reached 100 Australian patients for its 5 medicinal cannabis products since launching them in May 2018.

The Melbourne-based company's patient-focused approach involves improving access to medicinal cannabis products by educating and supporting doctors to become prescribers and pharmacists to become suppliers.

Althea's products have a 100% approval rate for Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) applications and 42 doctors prescribing them throughout Australia.

Hundreds of thousands of potential eligible patients

Althea chief executive officer Joshua Fegan said the company was proud to have reached 100 patients in such a short amount of time.

He said: "Industry reports suggest that there are hundreds of thousands of Australians who may be eligible patients for medicinal cannabis.

"We're focusing our efforts on educating mainstream doctors such as GPs to truly open up access to medicinal cannabis for everyday Australians.

"While it's great to see such a strong uptake, our work has only just begun."

Two prescriber application pathways

The TGA provides special pathways for doctors to apply for and prescribe medicinal cannabis, including the Special Access Scheme B (SAS B) and authorised prescribers (AP) status.

Thirty-seven doctors prescribing Althea products utilised the SAS B application pathway and five were able to obtain AP status with Althea's support.

Comprising GPs, medical specialists and psychiatrists, the approved prescribers have provided the 100 patients with access to medicinal cannabis products for a range of conditions.

Althea's products can be dispensed to patients through a network of more than 250 pharmacies across the country, selected by Althea to be near its prescribing doctors.

Treatment-supporting educational software

Fegan said a lack of awareness in the past, coupled with the lengthy application processes for prescribers, had made it difficult for eligible patients to access medicinal cannabis.

He commented: "Getting our medical science liaison team members in front of medical practitioners to provide education, and showing how it can be done efficiently through our web platform Althea Concierge, is really hitting home.

"We don't want people who could benefit from medicinal cannabis to be inconvenienced through a lack of knowledge.

"It doesn't have to be a grey area and we envisage a world where patients can talk confidently with their existing doctors about medicinal cannabis."

Focus on patient care

Althea was founded in 2017 with a view to acquiring the necessary permits to import, cultivate, produce and supply medicinal cannabis to eligible patients across Australia.

The company's focus on patient care underpins its business strategy and its web-based platform and mobile application Althea Concierge is designed to educate and support patient access to medicinal cannabis.

Althea has also engaged a team of medical science liaisons to assist medical practitioners to become prescribers, and pharmacists suppliers, of Althea products.

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